Filmmaker and comedienne Penny Marshall has been in show business for a very long time – but apparently not long enough to spot a confidence game when she sees one. At a Los Angeles Lakers game a month ago, Marshall was approached by a man claiming to be former Lakers forward Lamar Odom's personal assistant. The man gave Marshall a phone number he claimed was Odom's, and Marshall and Odom began a text message exchange that is reported to have lasted several days. Eventually, the man claimed to be in need of a quick loan of more than five thousand dollars. With "Odom's" encouragement, Marshall agreed to give the man claiming to be his assistant the loan.
After Marshall transmitted the funds his way, the con man -surprise!- stopped communicating with Marshall. After a while, Marshall got suspicious and contacted Odom through another channel – only to find the bad news that not only was the man not Odom's assistant, but he doesn't even HAVE an assistant!
So Marshall called the Los Angeles Police Department who have opened up a grand theft investigation. But in all probability the money is gone – it seems unlikely that a criminal experienced and savvy enough to pull off a con like this would leave any clues to his true identity. You never know, though – even experienced con men make mistakes.
Fortunately for Penny Marshall – she's got plenty of money in the bank, so this is little more than an annoyance for her, financially speaking. Of course it was probably her $45 million net worth that made her a valuable mark to begin with – if a person doesn't have enough money to afford a five thousand dollar loan, why bother trying to con them out of one? Still, no one likes to lose $5,000, so Penny is probably pretty steamed.