JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An Atlantic Beach con man was sentenced Friday to prison time for seducing several women in recent years only to leave them penniless and alone.
Circuit Judge Mark Borello sentenced 51-year-old Friend Rizkkhalil to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years’ probation, and ordered him to pay $110,700 in restitution.
“I am ecstatic with the sentence and the victims are as well,” said Assistant State Attorney Joe Licandro, who prosecuted the case.
A defense attorney declined to comment on the sentence.
Friday's hourlong hearing began with the sound of shackles as Rizzkhalil entered the courtroom. He apologized to his victims.
"I promise you, myself, I will never be in this position," said Rizzkhalil, who is from Egypt. "No matter what it takes to make things right."
After he spoke, it was time to give voice to his victims. Their statements were read by Licandro.
"It's been 17 months since I found out about the truth," Licandro read on behalf of one of the victims. "I went from a loving and trusting individual to someone who only sees deception."
"I went from homeowner to homeless in one hour," he read on behalf of another victim. "We were left on the street in a situation I had never seen in my life. My son has nightmares to this day, as Mr. R told us he was in the CIA and my son feared the CIA was coming to get him."
But at the end of the hearing, both impact statements spoke louder than Rizkkhalil's apology and Borello said the nature of harm warranted a severe sentence.
"You took away their trust, you took away their trust in humanity, and I think once that is taken from someone, it is virtually impossible to get back," the judge said.
Characterized by prosecutors as the “Don Juan” con artist, Rizkkhalil was convicted last month of three counts of felony grand theft, a count for each of his victims.
Fatemeh Jahromi, a single mother from Jacksonville, was among his victims. She said they first met one morning while getting coffee at Starbucks. He held the door open for her and that led to a conversation. Soon they were dating.
Their once-promising relationship soured after Rizkkhalil convinced Jahromi to sell her house and move in with him. At some point, he took off with the $59,000 profit she made from the sale of her home, plus $10,000 she had in savings.
As it turns out, Jahromi wasn’t the first woman he deceived. Prosecutors said Rizkkhalil also took another woman for $25,000 and ran up $85,000 in charges on her credit card. A third woman was conned out of $10,000.
One of the victims at Friday's hearing told News4Jax she forgives him and wants to see him free. She said she is praying for him.
Rizkkhalil has 30 days to appeal his sentence, though it’s unclear whether he will.
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