Delaware Con Artist Poses As Celebrity Chef

Gained $10,000 For Ticket Sales To Fake Food Network Event

Posted by on Jul 19

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A man in New Castle, Delaware was arrested on Wednesday for posing as a new Food Network celebrity chef. The tip-off? Not having enough culinary skills to fool his students.

20-year-old Leonard Ruebeck began promoting this scam in May while teaching a cooking class. He called himself "Chef Lenny" and wore a Food Network chef's coat and an Iron Chef medallion, both manufactured. He also told his class that he would soon be featured on a new TV taping of "Dinner Impossible BBQ" located at New Jersey's Carney's Point, selling tickets to the phony event for $35 each.

Ruebeck advertised that the TV special would feature well-known celebrity chefs such as Bobby Flay, Robert Irvine, Paul Deen and Rachael Ray.

But one cooking class student, Theresa Press, picked up on the con artist's fraudulent behavior.

"Something just didn’t seem right during the classes when he didn't have any of the basic skills a chef should have," she said.

Press then alerted the police regarding "Chef Lenny" and his promotions. During an investigation, Ruebeck -- along with his sous chef and promotion assistant accomplices -- divulged all information and confessed to full responsibility. Ruebeck was released after reimbursing nearly $10,000 in fraudulent ticket sales.

Source:  NBC Philadelphia


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