CROWN POINT — A Gary man pleaded guilty to four felony theft counts alleging he swindled four women out of money and property by gaining their trust through "sweetheart" scams.

Lenard A. Adams, 33, admitted during a hearing Tuesday before Lake Criminal Court Judge Diane Boswell that he stole from the women between March 2013 and June 2017.

If Boswell accepts his plea agreement, Adams would be sentenced to four consecutive 18-month sentences. He would serve three years in the Lake County Community Corrections work release program and three years on supervised probation.

Police have accused Adams, who used the aliases Christopher West, Sean West and Sean Christopher West, of gaining women's trust before swindling them out of money, kidnapping them and threatening to hurt them.

Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Judith Massa said she agreed to drop all remaining charges — which included kidnapping and intimidation — in exchange for Adams' pleas to four felony theft counts.

Adams also would be ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution at sentencing and $260 a month afterward, for a total of more than $14,100.

Police initially estimated Adams swindled various women out of nearly $70,000. Witnesses told police Adams has operated in Las Vegas, Nevada, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

When Boswell asked Adams if he has a job, defense attorney Linda Kollintzas said he doesn't currently work because he's been on house arrest.

At a previous hearing, Adams suggested Massa didn't respect his "profession," because he previously had worked as a professional poker player.

Register for more free articles.
Stay logged in to skip the surveys.

Massa had mentioned Adams travels for work while objecting to his request to be placed on GPS monitor. He had been seeking additional freedom while under house arrest, but Boswell denied the request.

Adams said he now plans to find work at a factory.

Boswell said, "So, you're going to work at some factory, somewhere. Sounds like a lot of pie-in-the-sky to me."

Adams assured the judge he would be able to do it.

"I promise," he said.

Boswell ordered a presentence investigation and set Adams' sentencing hearing for June 25.

Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.