Marianne Smyth, an American con artist who has previously claimed to be an 'Irish heiress,' was arrested in Bangor, Maine on February 23 and is facing extradition to Northern Ireland.

Smyth is accused of four counts of fraud by abuse of position and four counts of theft, according to extradition paperwork filed with US District Court
District of Maine (Bangor) last month.

According to the extradition complaint, the alleged crimes took place in Northern Ireland between March 2008 and October 2010. At the time, Smyth was an independent mortgage adviser for An Independent Mortgage Solution Ltd (AIMS).

Smyth allegedly "failed to invest and stole from" two people in the amount of approximately $25,500, another person in the amount of approximately $25,500, another person in the amount of approximately $29,000, and another person in the amount of approximately $92,000.

Court records show that PSNI Detective Constable Mark Anderson wrote in February 2021 that the allegations against Smyth were first reported to the PSNI in July 2009. By that time, Smyth had left Northern Ireland and returned to the US. She was alerted as wanted for arrest should she ever return to the UK.

The PSNI conducted a review of the case in 2017 and a file was submitted to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in January 2019. A decision to to prosecute Smyth on indictment was taken in October 2019.

In February 2021, the Magistrate's Court in Northern Ireland issued eight warrants for Smyth's arrest; in September 2023, three of those warrants were withdrawn due to typographical errors but were reissued that same day.

The US Marshals Service believed Smyth, who last entered the US in 2013, was in Bingham, Maine. She was observed there on January 22, 2024.

Smyth was arrested on February 23 and appeared in court that same day. She requested an extradition hearing and was detained without bail pending the hearing on the request for detention.

On March 7, Smyth’s request for bail was denied and she was detained pending her extradition hearing. 

Smyth previously targeted television producer Jonathan Walton, who, upon discovering Smyth’s misdeeds, launched a campaign to out her.

Walton first met Smyth in Los Angeles in 2013 and quickly moved from being just neighbors to “best friends,” Walton said in an August 2019 piece for HuffPost.

Smyth would constantly treat Walton and his husband to fancy dinners, often telling the couple that she had plenty of money, money which she brought with her when she left Ireland, and that she enjoyed treating her friends.

Bizarrely, Smyth had a strange fascination with wanting to be Irish - so much so that she crafted a persona that was based upon having been raised in Ireland.

Indeed, Smyth’s still-public X (formerly Twitter) account features plenty of engagement with posts about Irish sports, Irish language, and even a retweet of an IrishCentral post.

Walton wrote in the HuffPost piece: “Mair told us she was originally from Ireland and one night she pointed to a framed document hanging in her living room. ‘This is the Irish Constitution,’ she said. ‘See that signature at the bottom? That’s my great uncle’s.’”

“Since my knowledge of Ireland was scant, I believed her," Walton wrote, "I had no idea that like her shoes, that tale was also fake.”

He describes how intricately Smyth fabricated her lie: “Mair brought me Irish tea and pastries and regaled me with stories of how when she was a young girl, her grandmother, who was supposedly in the Irish Republican Army, would bring her to the top of a bridge and teach Mair how to hurl Molotov cocktails down on British soldiers. I was captivated and horrified. But her stories about her family were all lies too.”

Walton would later find out that Smyth was actually born and raised in Maine before moving to Tennessee. It was 2000 before Smyth ever even visited Ireland, and while there on vacation, she married an Irish man she had previously met online and lived in Northern Ireland for nine years.

Most of Smyth’s elaborate scam hinged on her nonexistent family in Ireland. Walton says: “Mair told me that an uncle, the patriarch of her family, recently died and her cousins were dividing up an estate worth 25 million euros. She said she was supposed to receive 5 million euros ― the equivalent of $6.5 million at the time ― as her share of the inheritance.”

In his piece for HuffPost, Walton details how he helped bail Smyth out of jail, and how she swindled him out of tens of thousands of dollars before he eventually learned the truth.

After launching his blog to find more of Smyth's victims, Walton says he was contacted by police in Northern Ireland: “I even got a call from a police detective in Northern Ireland. He told me authorities in Belfast had been looking for Marianne Smyth for years. The detective said she had worked as a mortgage broker in 2008 and had scammed many other people and then vanished.”

Ultimately, Smyth was found guilty in January 2019 of scamming Walton out of more than $91,000 and was sentenced to five years in prison. However, due to Covid protocols, she received an early release in 2021. 

That same year, Walton launched a podcast series about his experiences with Smyth entitled "Queen of the Con: The Irish Heiress."

In light of Smyth's latest arrest and potential extradition, Walton told The Hollywood Reporter: "This is something I’ve been working hard on for the past seven years and even as that sentence escapes my mouth, seven years, I was beginning to believe it would never happen.

“So I’m thrilled.”