LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department detectives uncovered text messages from businessman Gavin Maloof’s ex-girlfriend, which revealed an alleged gold digging plot, according to a warrant obtained by the 8 News Now Investigators.
Jennifer Courtemanche, 44, is accused of stealing nearly $445,000 from Maloof with her friend Brittany Burgess.
According to the Merriam-Webster definition, gold digger is a term used to describe “a person whose romantic pursuit of, relationship with, or marriage to a wealthy person is primarily or solely motivated by a desire for money.”
According to police, Courtemanche sent the following text message to Burgess in 2017:
“OMG THIS IS IT he broke up with his bitch FINALLY and wants me to come out im not letting or anythinggggg stop me this is my chance for BOTH of us.”
“This neeeeeds to happen.”
“I’ve been so down and out and POOR.”
“…we need to get the life weve always deserved no more struggling no more misery mental hospitals ERs etc lol”
Police said Burgess responded, “…we need plan.”
The women then referred to previously using different names, the report stated.
“We’ve been friends for so long I can’t remember which one of us is the bad influence,” Courtemanche is alleged to have texted.
The first Apple Cash transaction to steal money occurred in June of 2021, according to police.
According to the warrant, there were additional text messages between the two women communicating about the scheme including the following from Courtemanche who said she was with Maloof at the time of the transaction, “…I was trying so hard not to laugh.”
Both women are named as co-defendants in a criminal complaint filed on Oct. 4 in Las Vegas Justice Court. They face a total of six charges, including three counts of felony theft, along with conspiracy to commit theft, conspiracy to launder or attempt to launder money, and launder or attempt to launder money or property, which are gross misdemeanors.
Maloof had reported receiving harassing text messages and photographs. LVMPD officials investigated and traced the phone numbers to Courtemanche, according to police records.
When a detective asked Maloof if he knew her, he replied, “Yes, Jennifer Courtemanche, she’s my girlfriend,” the warrant stated.
Courtemanche gained access to Maloof’s cell phone and sent approximately $93,448.00 in Apple Cash payments in 2021, approximately $275,600.00 in 2022, and approximately $75,600.00 in 2023, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Clark County District Attorney’s office.
The investigation began as a harassment case after Maloof had received text messages and photos from multiple different Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone numbers, according to police.
Police learned that Courtemanche and Burgess worked together to convince Maloof that Burgess was the talent agent for Courtemanche, the warrant stated. Courtemanche is a SAG-AFTRA actress, according to her Instagram account which has approximately 182,000 followers.
Of 214 transactions in which theft was committed, 144 were from a phone number belonging to Burgess who would then send the money back to Courtemanche, the report stated. Investigators said they discovered 37 different phone numbers used in the scheme.
Las Vegas Metropolitan police, with the assistance of the Los Angeles Police Department, went to Courtemanche’s home with a search warrant to seize her electronic devices in May, according to police records.
An LVMPD detective asked Courtemanche if she had any idea why police were at her home, police said. She replied, “literally none,” and she was “obviously stunned,” according to police.
Detectives said that it appeared that Courtemanche tried to conceal a phone’s location while they were present.
Las Vegas Metropolitan police also went to the Massachusetts home with help from Massachusetts State Police with a search warrant to seize a cell phone.
“Burgess kept stating how she was confused, and she felt like she was ‘duped’ by her best friend, and she did not understand what was going on,” the warrant stated.
Burgess received nearly $12,000 through the alleged scheme while Courtemanche received nearly $433,000, according to police.
Attorney David Chesnoff is representing Maloof.
“Mr. Maloof is grateful for the effort of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Clark County District Attorney’s office,” Chesnoff told 8 News Now Investigators.
Maloof and Courtemanche are no longer dating.
Warrants were previously issued for Courtemanche and Burgess, according to court records.
Judge Nadia Wood set bail for Courtemanche at $10,000, ordered her to stay away from Maloof, and allowed her to “walk through” jail, meaning she did not have to remain in custody, according to Las Vegas Justice Court records.
Court records for Burgess also referred to an “own recognizance walk-through.”
Attorney Ryan Helmick is representing Courtemanche. He declined to comment.
8 News Now Investigators reached out to an attorney for Burgess, who is expected in court on Nov. 15.
A preliminary hearing for Courtemanche is scheduled for March 11.