Former “To Catch A Predator” host Chris Hansen has been arrested and charged with writing a bad check and larceny after agreeing to pay a vendor nearly $13,000 for marketing materials.
Hansen, 59, promised Peter Psichopaidas, owner of Promotional Sales LTD., $12,998.05 for 355 ceramic mugs, 288 T-shirts, and 650 vinyl decals, according to the Stamford Advocate. Hansen said he would pay for the merchandise before it was delivered.
“Three months after receiving invoices for the goods in September 2017, a person working for Hansen sent a Hansen News LLC check for the entire amount, police said. But police said the check bounced and Psichopaidas spoke to Hansen, who apologized and attempted to make a partial payment. Psichopaidas filed a complaint with police last April when he was still not paid,” the Advocate reported.
Hansen had “begged” Psichopaidas to give him additional options to pay for the merchandise after the April complaint.
“Peter … I truly thought I had this covered,” Hansen told the business owner in an email. “I am scrambling to get it done. Please give me till the end of the day. I sold a boat to cover the rest of this and need to pick up the payment this afternoon.”
That same month, Hansen claimed he “sold a boat” to help pay what he owed, but the check he wrote just before he said this had bounced.
The arrest affidavit, according to WGN TV, notes that Hansen “bailed” after he agreed to provide police with a statement. Investigator Sean Coughlin of the Stamford Police Department warned Hansen that he could be arrested for larceny, according to the affidavit.
“I told Chris … that nearly $13,000 is a lot of money to a ‘mom-and-pop’ business and it is not fair that he accepted the material but hasn’t paid for it,” Coughlin wrote.
Hansen had used similar marketing materials as incentives for those who sent money to the former NBC host’s Kickstarter campaign to revive “To Catch A Predator” in 2015. The new show was to be called “Hansen vs. Predator,” according to the Wrap, and people who donated money could receive the coffee mugs or t-shirts. Other fundraising incentives included a private screening of the new show with Hansen and his crew and an outgoing voicemail message from the host himself, a surefire way to scare off spam callers. It is unclear when Promotional Sales provided Hansen with the items for which he did not pay.
Hansen turned himself in to police and was released without bond after signing a Promise to Appear in court at the end of the month.
Hansen is a journalist and hosted “To Catch A Predator” between 2004 and 2007. The show was cancelled following the suicide of Bill Conradt, an assistant district attorney in Rockwall County, Texas, who was featured on one episode communicating with a volunteer for the show pretending to be a 13-year-old boy. Conradt didn’t appear to meet the person he thought was a child and stopped responding to phone calls and messages, so Hansen, NBC, and local police went to his home. Conradt shot himself as they entered.