Sex offender tried to lure Kiwi man onto yacht

One of the messages.
One of the messages. Photo credit: Getty / Supplied

A well-known conman appears to have offered a Kiwi traveller $450,000 to spend five months on his yacht.

Matt, who doesn't want his surname published, is a 26-year-old Aucklander currently travelling in Asia.

Last week on a pub crawl in Siem Reap, Cambodia, he and his friends met Wayne Eaglesome.

Eaglesome is a prolific con artist and convicted sex offender who was jailed for five years in 2006 for sexually assaulting an 18-year-old backpacker as well as another youth.

In a Parole Board report from 2013, a psychologist said Eaglesome had a medium-to-high risk of sexual reoffending and a high risk of reoffending in general.

He is known to have used more than 20 different aliases. He currently goes by the name "George Von Rothschild", which is the name he gave Matt.

"I was immediately suspicious of the name Rothschild, as obviously that's a very famous name," Matt told Newshub.

He says Eaglesome was alone and seemed somewhat strange.

"He looked like Elton John. Only Elton John gets to look like Elton John."

Matt says he didn't find Eaglesome particularly threatening at the time, "but I suppose if you're a conman you can't look dangerous."

"George Von Rothschild" recently posted on Facebook that he was looking for 10 people to join him on a yacht voyage from Phuket, Stuff reports. He posted photos of a superyacht which were found to be images of a luxury yacht currently being sold in London.

He suggested to Matt and his friends that he was willing to pay young men for sex. By the end of the night he had obtained the names of everyone in the group.

The next day "Von Rothschild" Facebook messaged Matt and five other men who were at the pub crawl, including Matt's brother. He reached out to all of them with a similar opening line, but Matt believes he was the only one who took the bait.

"I just played along with the conversation."

Sex offender tried to lure Kiwi man onto yacht
Photo credit: Supplied
Sex offender tried to lure Kiwi man onto yacht
Photo credit: Supplied
Sex offender tried to lure Kiwi man onto yacht
Photo credit: Supplied

"Von Rothschild" told Matt he would soon be sailing "back to Spain" from Thailand. He said he would pay him $175,000 to spend a month on his yacht, or $500,000 for five months.

He said the amount of money Matt would receive "is determined by the services you offer", but that he would be given $100,000 upfront.

He also offered him $45,000 for "a night of your 'company'". Matt says when he asked what that meant, "Von Rothschild" responded with "I think you know what I mean".

He told him he would need a decision the following day.

In eerily similar circumstances, Eaglesome met two young European backpackers on a pub crawl in Auckland in 2012. Under the alias "Alex Newman", he offered the men $50,000 to work on his yacht for six months.

Before they were due to set sail, Eaglesome faked "Alex's" death and the backpackers did not realise they had been scammed until years later.

Several days after their initial conversation, "Von Rothschild" called Matt and asked him if he'd considered his offer.

Again, Matt played along.

"I told him it's quite a lot of money, and that I had a few reservations. He asked what I meant, and I said 'Honestly I've never f***ed a dude before."

"Then he asked if some "chemical assistance" would help, and I hung up."

Sex offender tried to lure Kiwi man onto yacht
Photo credit: Supplied

In later messages, "Von Rothschild" asked Matt if he liked 'Coke'. When asked if he meant cocaine, he said yes. He repeatedly used euphemisms for illegal drugs while speaking to Matt on the phone, such as 'Charlie' and 'molly'. 

He also never specifically asked for sex with Matt, instead referring to it as "your company" or "services".

Matt says "Von Rothschild" wanted to meet up in person and told him to meet him at a hotel pool. When Matt didn't show up, "Von Rothschild" messaged him asking where he was.

"No way was I meeting up with him."

"Von Rothschild" has since appeared to have blocked Matt on Facebook. 

Matt found the situation amusing until he read about Eaglesome in an article published by Stuff on Wednesday. It was then he learned of his past offences.

"At the time I thought it was funny, but it's not funny anymore."

He has since learned that a friend met Eaglesome in Bali a year ago, indicating to Matt that "he's been doing this through South East Asia for a long time."

The entire experience was "surreal", says Matt, especially since reading about the backpackers who were targeted by Eaglesome in such similar circumstances. 

"Everyone was joking and saying 'you should have taken the money for one night', but now it's like, who knows what might have happened."

He says he wants to share his experience to warn others of the conman's behaviour.

"I'm sure there will be people that will get on his boat, that will be like, 'yeah let's party'. I wouldn't like to think what might happen to them."