Self-proclaimed Hollywood insider from SA scams victim out of over $377K, DPS says

Jonathan Yost facing theft charge; known across country as scammer, DPS says

Courtesy: Bexar County Jail
Courtesy: Bexar County Jail

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man who was an extra in a local film and claimed he was a Hollywood insider is accused of scamming a victim out of more than $300,000.

Authorities took Jonathan Keith Yost, 34, into custody Thursday morning and charged him with theft of $300,000 or more.

A trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety said they were asked to assist the United States Secret Service with an ongoing financial crimes investigation into Yost.

In January 2018, a victim told the DPS trooper that they first met Yost -- who identified himself as Dr. Jay Lopez -- while filming the movie "Angry Men" in San Antonio. The victim said they had a lead role and Yost was an extra in the film, according to an arrest affidavit.

Yost later presented the victim with a business opportunity and identified himself a "Hollywood insider with connections to well-known actors," the affidavit said.

"Yost propositioned (the victim) into investing in Yost's business that was in the works of bringing a comedy tour to San Antonio, as well as an acting workshop that would be brought throughout the country and across the world," the trooper said in the affidavit.

The victim told the trooper that they were encouraged to invest after Yost showed them "tons of followers" on his social media pages.

After signing a business partnership, the victim sent a series of wire transfers that totaled approximately $377,500, the affidavit said.

The victim said, when they began to question the alleged investment, Yost changed his phone number and blocked the victim from all his social media accounts, according to the affidavit.

Less than two weeks after the victim and Yost first met, the trooper said, Yost opened several bank accounts, which were used to receive the wire transfers, under a different Social Security number not belonging to Yost.

Several months later, a post shared on a Facebook page for Yost's alias, "Dr. Jay Lopez," said, "Wondering if I should pay people that I owe," according to the affidavit.

The trooper said Yost is a suspect connected to several other scamming incidents across the country.

In October 2018, KSAT's sister station KPRC shared a similar story of Yost scamming victims in the Houston area.

According to KPRC, a sheriff's office in North Carolina said Yost duped a church out of $9,000.

Yost is now being charged in Bexar County for the theft charge, a first-degree felony.

According to online records, Yost has since been released from custody after posting a $35,000 bond. 

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