Pretend - a true crime podcast about con artists

Creative Babble

PRETEND is a podcast: Interviews with cult leaders, con artists, undercover agents, and anyone else who lived a life of deception.

  • 11 minutes
    Introducing: White Devil from Campire Media

    Sharing something special this week: A show from our friends at Campside Media, called White Devil. Late at night in May of 2021, a single gunshot shattered the silence along the beach at Belize’s luxurious Alaia resort. In White Devil, journalist Josh Dean dives into one of the biggest, splashiest, and most perplexing crime stories you’ve never heard of: The shooting death of renowned cop Henry Jemott, by a Canadian property developer, connected to the family of one very influential billionaire. In investigating, the craggy depths of Belize are brought to the surface: Its quirks, its corruption, and the all pervasive influence of several generations of one family in particular. You can binge the rest of White Devil at:


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    20 May 2024, 2:10 pm
  • 44 minutes 45 seconds
    1705: Hockey Dad Poses as Delta Force Agent to Scam Parents part 2

    The strange and intricate hoax crafted by Saint Jovite "Kota" Youngblood, a hockey dad who posed as a Delta Force agent, unravels in court. An FBI agent peels back each layer of Youngblood's elaborate scheme that duped dozens of families.

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    14 May 2024, 11:41 am
  • 35 minutes 42 seconds
    1704: Hockey Dad Poses as Delta Force Agent to Scam Parents part 1

    Saint Jovite Youngblood posed as a Delta Force agent to swindle the families of his son’s hockey team.

    Today's episode revolves around two victims: Eric Perardi, an Austin-based real estate developer, and Rebecca Kumar, a hockey mom, whose lives were turned upside down by Youngblood’s elaborate scams. Their experiences may sound like something out of a crime thriller, but they show the danger of falling prey to a master manipulator.

    Listen to part 2 now:


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    7 May 2024, 7:30 am
  • 7 minutes 55 seconds
    1703: The Doula BREAKING NEWS

    BREAKING NEWS - Kaitlyn Braun is Arrested Again for Duping Doulas in Phony Pregnancy Scam

    25-year-old Kaitlyn Braun, who is currently under house arrest for prior offenses involving fraud and harassment against doulas, faces new charges as of Tuesday. This week's charges come after new allegations of once again exploiting the trust of unsuspecting doulas by falsely soliciting support related to pregnancy and childbirth.

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    2 May 2024, 1:02 pm
  • 3 minutes 51 seconds
    Introducing: MURDER HOMES


    The real estate market has never been hotter. Houses sell as soon as

    they’re listed. Bidding wars lead to all cash deals far above the asking

    price. But there is one kind of property that often sits on the market

    for years, no matter how much of a bargain it seems to be. Potential

    buyers come and go, the price keeps going down, and still the house

    stands empty. 

    In real estate jargon, it’s called a “stigmatized property” because

    the home comes with a history. An unfortunate one – a horrible death

    occurred here. But what few people know is exactly what happened.... or


    Each week, Murder Homes tells the story of a single

    property. Who lived there? What secrets did they keep, and what did they

    leave behind? Part history, part murder mystery, this podcast mixes

    expert interviews, witness accounts, and court records to pull back the

    curtain on the hidden stories each property has to tell. 

    Would you be able to live somewhere that seems perfect, if it weren’t for the ghosts of its past?

    Listen to Murder Homes:


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    26 April 2024, 7:30 am
  • 38 minutes 22 seconds
    1702: The Doula part 2

    In the second installment of "The Doula" series, we uncover new dimensions of Kaitlyn Braun’s elaborate pregnancy scams. This episode features a new doula speaking out about her experiences, the story of how Kaitlyn was finally caught, and a revealing interview with a former friend whom Kaitlyn also deceived.

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    23 April 2024, 7:30 am
  • 28 minutes 51 seconds
    1701: The Doula part 1

    Warning: This episode contains graphic discussions of pregnancy loss, sexual violence, and emotional abuse. Listener discretion is advised.

    In this episode of "Pretend," listen to the chilling tale of Kaitlyn Braun, a woman who orchestrated an elaborate pregnancy hoax, affecting nearly 60 doulas across Ontario. Seanna Hayes, a doula from London, Ontario, provides a firsthand account of her experience with Kaitlyn Braun. The story begins on a stormy night when Seanna is called to assist Kaitlyn, allegedly in labor, only to discover a web of lies, manipulation, and betrayal that spans across multiple doulas and involves a series of fake medical emergencies and hospital visits.

    This episode explores the psychological and emotional impact of Kaitlyn's actions on the doulas, the potential motives behind her behavior, and the aftermath of this bizarre case.

    Stay tuned for Part Two, exclusively on Patreon and Pretend+ on Apple Podcasts, where we continue the conversation with another doula who shares a very different experience with Kaitlyn Braun.

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    22 April 2024, 7:02 pm
  • 51 minutes 40 seconds
    Confessions of a Ponzi Schemer

    This episode offers an unprecedented look into the life of the 'Timepiece Gentleman' Ponzi schemer, Anthony Farrar, whose love for luxury watches spiraled into a deceitful web of lies, culminating in a rare and candid confession.

    If you want to hear more wild Ponzi stories, subscribe to The Ponzi Playbook hosted by me, Javier Leiva, and my buddy Neal McTighe.



    Also, listen to Javier's interview on The Film Nuts podcast.

    Subscribe to Film Nuts Podcast on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

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    9 April 2024, 7:30 am
  • 41 minutes 26 seconds
    The Treasure Hunter Revisited

    In today's episode, we revisit the captivating story of Seafarer Exploration and its quest to unearth a 300-year-old treasure buried beneath the ocean waves off Florida's coast. Join us as we delve into the tale of Kyle Kennedy, CEO of Seafarer Exploration, and his fateful encounter with Dr. Michael Torres, a man whose promises and credentials were as deep as the ocean itself. What begins as a hopeful journey into the past, seeking lost treasures of a Spanish galleon quickly spirals into a lawsuit and allegations of fraud. This rebroadcast from our previous series shines a light on the treasure hunters, the technology they dream of, and the deception that lurks beneath the surface.

    Guest Speakers:

    • Kyle Kennedy, CEO of Seafarer Exploration
    • Experts in maritime archaeology and treasure hunting
    • Legal analysts breaking down the lawsuit against Michael Torres

    Listen to the Entire Series:

    Don't miss out on the full adventure of treachery, technology, and sunken treasures. Click on the links below to listen to the entire series and explore the mystery surrounding Florida's Treasure Coast.

    Part 2:

    Part 3:

    Part 4:

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    2 April 2024, 7:30 am
  • 33 minutes 59 seconds
    How to find people who don’t want to be found

    I recently spoke at the Triangle Content Creators Meetup in Raleigh, NC, about using OSINT techniques to locate and research your next guest. OSINT stands for Open Source Intelligence. As a journalist, I've teamed up with brilliant hackers like Mishaal Khan and Michael Bazzell to uncover new information about my subjects. 

    In this talk, I explain how Alan Logan and I exposed Frank Abagnale and how Mishaal Khan and I investigated the Stalker case. I thought you might find this interesting. 

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    26 March 2024, 4:00 am
  • 58 minutes
    1609: The Truth Experts part 2

    Previously on Pretend, we dived deep into the murky waters of academic fraud. Celebrity behavioral scientist Dan Ariely of Duke University, alongside Francesca Gino from Harvard and other distinguished behavioral scientists, embarked on a series of experiments with a noble aim: to enhance honesty among individuals. 

    Their investigation centered on whether positioning an honesty pledge at the top of a form, as opposed to the bottom, would discourage deceit. However, it emerged that two out of the three experiments underpinning the study were marred by fabricated data.

    I interviewed Dan Ariely about these troubling allegations, but our conversation was cut short. I assumed that was the last time I would hear from him. Surprisingly, Ariely reached out, proposing a second interview to directly address what he termed as "false accusations" on my podcast. He stipulated, "If you intend to add these false accusations to the podcast, maybe it's best to have another session and get my answers on the record, but I  will ask you to promise me not to edit these. And to give my answers exactly as I present them. If you're up for this,  let's schedule a sum If you're up for this, let's schedule something." And so, I agreed.

    You're going to listen to my follow-up interview with Dan Ariely. I will, however, interject here and there to add context. But rest assured, every moment of our 43-minute exchange will be presented. I'll upload the raw, unedited versions of both interviews on Patreon and Pretend Plus, accessible for free. You don't need a subscription to tune in.

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    19 March 2024, 7:30 am
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