A man has lost a total of $451,753.66 in a theft scam triggered after he made an acquaintance on the internet.

The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office investigation has led to an arrest of 30-year-old Patrick William Beard on a charge of theft by deception over $300,000.

An arrest affidavit said Beard helped in the deception by claiming he was a parole officer in an attempt to get the victim to give another man even more money.

The victim filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office in July of this year saying he had met a man on the internet in 2017 who had given he all kinds of stories about money troubles and legal woes that required money that he did not have.

The arrest affidavit stated that there had been multiple criminal events in the period that included texts asking for more money claiming he faced more fees or he would go to prison.

The affidavit said that the messages sent to the victim by the two men were used to keep the victim sending money.

Bond for Beard was set at $75,000.