How Antonio Sabàto Jr. became wrapped up in a bizarre internet money mule scam

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Former gay-for-pay actor and failed GOP candidate Antonio Sabàto Jr. is back in the headlines again, but not because of anything he actually did.

60-year-old Wendy Peterson is a disabled former restaurant manager from Holly Hill, Florida who believed she was having a steamy online romance with Sabàto, who she thought was an oil rig worker named Gabriel Bosun.

“I can’t believe it fell for it,” Peterson told local media. “This is pretty bad.”

As it turns out, Bosun allegedly used Sabàto’s photos to trick Peterson into falling in love with him. And it worked! The whirlwind computer romance began in January and lasted for several months before she eventually caught on.

It was a bold move on Bosun’s part, too, as there was always a chance Peterson might recognize Sabàto from his 2003 soft core gay film Testosterone or his 2005 made-for-TV gay drama Deadly Skies.

But Peterson says part of the reason why the relationship lasted for as long as it did was because she never actually talked to Bosum over Zoom or Facetime.

Then Last month, she agreed to relocate to Texas so she could marry him.

“We were going to move to Houston,” she said. “He thought I would be a good stepmother to his daughter.”

She says Bosum deposited three checks into her bank account to help fund the move and she began making all the arrangements. Then one evening she saw a local news story about another woman who had been tricked into being a money mule for an international crime ring. When the 68-year-old woman, who was scammed out of $2 million, shared photos of the man who had duped her, Peterson was shocked to see it was none other than Sabàto/Bosum!

She immediately logged into her bank account and saw the checks he had sent her had all bounced and she was now $11,000 in the red. When she contacted Bosum about it, he allegedly told her he had no idea what went wrong.

“He claimed he didn’t know why it happened and said he would look into it,” Peterson said.

Then he asked if she would apply for a $150,000 small business loan on his behalf. And that’s when she called the authorities, who are now looking into the matter.

As for the real Sabàto, he had absolutely nothing to do with any of this and hasn’t commented on the matter. Instead, he’s been busy on Twitter peddling COVID-19 conspiracy theories…

Posting anti-vax messages…

And doing AM radio interviews about how being a Trump supporter killed his career in Hollywood…

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.

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