Notorious St. Louis Con Man Dustin Mitchell Busted in Texas, Police Say

Dustin Mitchell

Dustin Mitchell may have finally reached the end of the line. (Courtesy of the Frisco Police)

LGBTQ St. Louis’ most infamous con man, Dustin Mitchell, 43, was arrested in Houston, Texas on Thursday. He faces four felony charges including: unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, credit/debit fraud, and fraudulent use of ID Info, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Under the name Dustin Cohen, Mitchell, who was raised Baptist, has been presenting himself as the director of operations for Chabad of West Houston as well as the founder and executive director of the Aleph Foundation, a nonprofit with a mission to support Jewish people in need. Chabad Rabbi Dovid Goldstein alerted congregants of Mitchell’s arrest by email last week, writing that “the seriousness of the charges calls for his immediate termination from our organization.”

Out in STL reached out to the Chabad for comment but have not yet heard back.

In 2012, the Rolla, Missouri-native moved to St. Louis, where he spun a vast web of lies. That year, he got arrested at the St. Louis County courthouse, where he’d represented clients under the guise of being an attorney — a fabrication he continues, according to his YouTube page. He eventually pleaded guilty to a theft charge related to a $1,000 retainer fee he accepted and served four months in prison in 2012. Dozens of St. Louisans claim to have been scammed by Mitchell.

Mitchell moved to Texas in 2016, where he convinced Dallas Fort Worth’s legal community that he was a candidate for Denton County Judge and a successful restaurateur. Once out of prison for falsely presenting himself as a lawyer, he made his way to Glen Rose, Texas, in 2022, where he presented himself as a successful businessman.

Talent booking agent Sheryl Marie Hulsey first met Mitchell at a Junior Tigers”event in Glen Rose, Texas, in 2022. The Junior Tigers pair elementary students with varsity football mentors. Mitchell wandered to the podium and stood beside the presenter as if he was part of leadership. “I was like, ‘Who’s this drunk jackass at the podium?’” Hulsey says with a laugh.

During a 2022 "Junior Tigers" youth mentoring event in Glen Rose, Texas, Dustin Mitchell wandered to the podium and stood beside organizer Tracie Hansen, as if he were part of the program. Husley said she snapped the photo because she found it so bizarre. Courtesy Sheryl Marie Hulsey

During a 2022 “Junior Tigers” youth mentoring event in Glen Rose, Texas, Dustin Mitchell wandered to the podium and stood beside organizer Tracie Hansen, as if he were part of the program. Husley said she snapped the photo because she found it so bizarre. Photo courtesy Sheryl Marie Hulsey

It was after the event that Hulsey was introduced to Mitchell, who asked her to lunch to discuss booking talent for a restaurant that was under construction.

“My husband told me not to meet with him, but I secretly went anyway and took my friend Linsdey along,” Hulsey says. “Dustin was on the wraparound porch on a Zoom call and waved us in and then kept us waiting for 45 minutes. When he came in, he said that he’s part of a law firm and an attorney had just died, making a lot more work for him.”

When the check came, Mitchell did not pick it up. He then took the pair across the square to the construction site. “The workers looked at us like we were breaking into the place, and we probably were! We got home and looked at each other and said, ‘Something isn’t right.’

A simple Google search led to Dustin Does Dallas, at which time the pair notified the whole town, after Hulsey confessed to her husband.

Mitchell publicly scorned the town for believing gossip and then moved on to Houston, where he began going by Dustin Cohen. He ingratiated himself with the Chabad of West Houston community, where he met Patti O’Neal Weilbaecher. Weilbaecher passed away in August of 2023, and Mitchell is accused of using her credit cards in March.

In his email, Goldstein wrote that he met Mitchell through his work as a prison rabbi working to rehabilitate inmates, but “there are times when a total success is not achieved.” An article on the Chabad’s website about the two bringing in a “gangsta rapper-turned Orthodox Jew” for a Passover concert reveals the relationship goes back at least a year.

Former friend Eddy Reyes, 33, expressed relief about the news. “I’m just so happy he’s been arrested,” he says. “He’s a horrible, horrible man!”

Reyes says he met Mitchell online last year, and that Mitchell presented himself as an attorney, rabbi and former police officer. “He carried a badge and had police lights on his truck,” Reyes says, adding that Mitchell had many prescription drugs at his home, and that Mitchell drugged him and then had him committed to a psych ward.

“He got into my phone and contacted several people telling them I was on drugs, and he was going to help me through it. He told the administrators of the psych ward that I was only allowed to talk to him,” Reyes says. Reyes was released a week later. “He poses as someone who is trying to help people, but he leaves them off 1,000 times worse.”

Bonnie Mills met Mitchell through Reyes, and sent Out in STL screenshots purportedly of Mitchell claiming that Weilbaecher had him change her will to leave him $4,100,050. In the text exchange, Mitchell said he was with the sheriff during the wellness check when they found Weilbaecher dead.

Lacy McCully, whose 2017 marriage to Mitchell was annulled for fraud, says she has since built a legal operations consulting career based on her experiences with Mitchell.

“We perform social engineering and insider threat analysis that specifically seeks to identify individuals like Dustin within an organization,” she says. “It’s finding the snake that’s not only in the grass, but already in your grass.”

In regards to Mitchell’s arrest, she says, “I would be wholly unsurprised if those aren’t the only charges we see.”

Houston Police are asking for additional victims to come forward. To do so, contact Major Offenders at (713) 308-3100 or Houston Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.

For background, read “Dustin Does Dallas: How an Infamous STL Con Man Devastated DFW”

This story was updated on May 28 with new information.


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