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California man wanted for costing Minnesota Vikings $70K in luxury suite scam

A general view of U.S. Bank stadium. Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS - A San Francisco man on the lam cost the Minnesota Vikings more than $70,000 in a scam involving luxury suite rentals, according to the Hennepin County attorney’s office. He also hosted pregame party in a downtown Minneapolis luxury apartment he lived in for a month, allegedly without paying rent.

Daniel Escamilla, 39, who is wanted in multiple states for financial fraud, was charged with three counts of theft by swindle and one count of theft by false representation, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office said Wednesday. Escamilla’s whereabouts are unknown.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court, Escamilla on Sept. 5 signed a contract with the Vikings to rent a luxury suite at U.S. Bank Stadium for the upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers. Escamilla paid with a $37,000 personal check. He attended the Sept. 9 game, which was the Vikings’ season opener at home.

A few days later, on Sept. 13, the Vikings contacted Escamilla to tell him the check had been returned because the account was closed. He apologized, saying he would send a new check right away. He also said he wanted to rent the suite again for the Sept. 23 game against the Buffalo Bills and for future games, the complaint states. On Sept. 17, Escamilla sent checks of $35,000 and $190,000 from a different bank account.

The Vikings learned those checks were also from a closed account and searched for information on Escamilla. On Sept. 19, they discovered he had been accused of a similar crimes in another state, according to the complaint, and called police. The Vikings lost another $35,000 because the suite was not rented for the Buffalo game.

Minneapolis police investigators determined that the bank accounts were opened using false Social Security numbers and were closed in May 2018 and July 2018 because Escamilla repeatedly wrote checks without sufficient funds, the complaint states.

Investigators also found that on Aug. 10, Escamilla signed a lease for a large apartment at the Nic on 5th apartment building in downtown Minneapolis and lived there until he was evicted in September. He didn’t pay rent or a security deposit, according to the complaint. He was evicted on Sept. 26 and left the premises.

He reportedly hosted a gathering at his apartment before the San Francisco game, the complaint states. If Escamilla is a 49ers fan, his hometown team lost to the Vikings that day, 24-16.

Authorities say Escamilla has an extensive history of arrests and convictions for financial fraud cases in other states and that there are active extradition warrants out for him.

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