Tuesday, October 9, 2012
UPDATE: Image of Kevin actually a NYC celebrity fitness trainer
Today, I spoke with Noah Neiman, a New York City fitness trainer with a growing following across the county. His images and those of his family were stolen by Cindy Choi and used to fuel the San Roman blog. Here's the story:
In real life, Noah Neiman is a gregarious, chiseled New York City celebrity fitness trainer.
On Facebook, unbeknownst to him, his images — and those of his family — were used to create a fictional Miami cancer patient named Kevin San Roman, who romanced teenage girls and fooled hundreds of supporters for three years.
Authorities unraveled the scam in July after being alerted by a Kendall school teacher whose daughter had fallen for Kevin’s fictional brother. The strange saga, perpetrated by a 28-year-old Doral restaurant owner, Cindy Choi, was chronicled in Sunday’s Miami Herald.
Neiman learned of the identity theft a year ago and complained to Facebook about someone using his image on the “San Roman” page. Then, a friend sent him the Sunday article, which included a photo of him used on Choi’s fictional Facebook page. He immediately recognized Choi as an usually dogged fan who constantly “liked” and commented on his own Facebook posts for years.
“For this to happen, it really puts a reality check on our whole media culture and our obsession with Facebook and Twitter and posting our private lives so publicly,” said Neiman. However, he didn’t know the fake Facebook page included dozens of his family photos. Choi also used images of Neiman’s younger brother to create another character, Lucas San Roman, who also wooed girls from South-Miami Dade.
“I can deal with my photo being stolen. I’m a grown boy,” Neiman said. “But I’m frustrated. I care about my brother. And I feel extremely terrible for these girls.”
READ WHOLE STORY: