School Closings And Delays

Prosecutors Trying to Reverse Incompetency Ruling for Alleged ‘Thief of Hearts’

WAYNE COUNTY -- Ken Witkowski avoided trial on perjury and fraud charges last year in Wayne County when a doctor declared him incompetent to stand trial.

But prosecutors now say they have new information that could send Witkowski back to court.

Prosecutors claimed Witkowski staged a hit and run behind a bar in Hamlin in 2015 and then claimed he was hurt so he could collect insurance money.

As he was headed to trial last November, a psychiatrist found Witkowski incompetent to stand trial.

But a local woman claims Witkowski was competent enough to scam her this summer.

Mark Bufalino is a defense lawyer and former candidate for judge in Luzerne County. He says the Witkowski case is unusual.

According to court papers, a woman in Lackawanna County claims Witkowski, who is married, contacted her through an online dating site in June using the name of Ken Castango.

She says the two had five dates and claims Witkowski scammed her out of $2,600.

"It would definitely cause one to pause to say, 'maybe he's not as incapacitated as one would believe,'" said Bufalino.

One of Witkowski's alleged victims asks how a man declared incompetent to stand trial nine months ago could be smart enough to con and swindle a single mother.

The psychiatrist who found Witkowski incompetent last year says privacy laws prevent him from commenting.

Witkowski has a history of allegedly scamming women.

"Ken Witkowski is a predator," said one victim.

In 2012, two women were awarded more than $100,000 after telling a court Witkowski romanced them, got engaged to them, and then swindled them out of their life savings.

They called him "the thief of hearts."

"He uses women, and insurance companies to front his lifestyle," said another victim.

In court last year, Witkowski was escorted by a service dog and claimed he was too disabled to work.

But the woman who says she was scammed this summer says Witkowski claims he worked buying and flipping houses and did not have a service dog with him on their dates.

Prosecutors hope this testimony will help prove Witkowski competent enough for the trial he was able to avoid last year.

19 comments

  • Courtney

    I think we are all missing a bigger picture. However he was able to do it, he DID scam many women into giving him money and children to which he did not financially or emotionally support during to the help of a Dr who was also smitten with him. We have all been in positions where we try to keep positive expecting a person to change, unfortunately, Ken never did and never will. Let’s all keep these children who grew up without a dad in mind and the strong who raised them on their own while.mending a broken heart and mind. Be kind to each other.

    • Kathy Wheeler

      Truth Courtney! His children have wonderful Mother’s and they have turned out pretty good under their circumstances. 🙂

    • Enough Already!

      @wnep.com you you need to stop allowing this guy to post! He is not Peter Cuozzo!!!!! He’s using his name.

  • Deplorable

    Can we lock this guy up already? He wrote me 3 bad checks for work i did and he keeps getting away with it can a sensible judge put him in jail? I cant even get out of a parking ticket if i tried to..

  • RicU.

    We have no evidence or the “scamming” beyond the news report which quotes a single source and not depth. For we know, the defendant was the one scammed and owed far more than the amount mentioned. The A.D.A. just be light on his billable hours to push this.

    This is a case of guilt by accusation thus far and possibly worse. For all we know, the woman was extorting money from the named defendant (Black Mail). But everyone here will rush to judgement.

    • Victim

      No he is the worst scumbag ever. Owes me personally $1600 that I’ll never see . He has done it to 20 or more people

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