Jun 1, 2006

Money can't buy you love

But a $2.1 million settlement against a matchmaker can help ease the pain.
Majerik, 60, a social worker who lives in Erie, Pa., signed up for Orly's service in December 2002. Her lawsuit claims she paid an initial fee of $50,000 for which she was led to believe she would receive "three years of introductions" to "extremely successful and highly educated, charismatic, kind, down-to-earth romantics who enjoy a life of fine dining, traveling and leisure." She was also told that these men were "focused on having a monogamous relationship" and "earn way above $1 million per year and have an estate of up to $20 million."

In an interview, Majerik, a grandmother whose husband died of a heart attack in 1999, said she was "looking for an efficient manner in which to meet people, pre-screened."

But she said she quickly became put off by the men Orly was finding for her.

The matchmaker's "international banker," for example, turned out to be "an interpreter that worked in a bank," according to the suit.
I once interviewed a matchmaker--coincidentally, an Israeli like the woman here--for a local paper. Helena also boasted about her list of fabulous bachelors and bachelorettes with high-powered careers and well-padded bank accounts.

She had a good schtick: Picture Eva Gabor in Green Acres with her feather boas and sequin-encrusted gowns, many "dah-lings," and much flattery. She offered me her services for free. After much cajoling, I gave in. I recall meeting some guy in a coffee shop and not much else. Oh, and an invitation to an event for "New York singles." I stopped by, stayed for about 15 painful minutes and then hightailed it out of there.

Years later Helena was convicted of making false promises to clients.

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