Houston crime: Man poses as Rabbi, lawyer and cop; spends $15K on dead woman's credit card, police say

The man accused of spending $15,000 on a dead woman's credit card has a long history of fraud, according to police, court records and his family.

Police say Dustin Mitchell, who goes by Dustin Cohen, posed as a Rabbi, lawyer and possibly a cop to defraud people. They also say they think he spray-painted anti-semitic vandalism on his own truck. 

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Court records indicate that he's been charged with fraud-related crimes in Missouri starting as early as 2006. In 2017 and 2018, records indicate he was posing as a lawyer in the Dallas area. He was convicted of the crimes and served time in prison. 

His new charges are four fraud-related felony counts. 

"Additionally, he's under investigation for making multiple fictitious, non-profit organizations," said Houston Police Detective Brian Tsai.  

Dustin Mitchell

Dustin Mitchell

The woman he allegedly stole the credit card from was a member of a congregation he was affiliated with, according to police. 

The Chabad of West Houston confirmed that Mitchell was their director of operations, but is no longer. 

"As a prison chaplain/Rabbi, I believe that people are rehabilitate-able and can live a successful life...thus,  I am personally incredibly saddened and disappointed by the news of Mr. Mitchell's charges. This all came to our congregation as a huge surprise. As the weeks and months move forward, we will be cooperating with law enforcement to the fullest extent. We hope that there is no further damage that has yet to be uncovered," said Rabbi Goldstein in a statement. 

Travis Mitchell, Dustin's brother, says his entire adult life he's known his brother to be a con man. He says his brother made him a victim in 2011 when he was going through the hardest time in his life. 

"My wife and I lost our second born child. Dustin stepped up, said, 'I'll help you guys out, help you run a fundraiser.' He did all that, and well, the funeral home never got the money," he said. 

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He says he estimates the victim count from his brother's fraud-related activities to be in the hundreds. 

"He finds people that are hurt, he finds a weakness. And he feeds on it. Like right now with the Jewish community down there," he said. 

He said he's thrilled to know Dustin is being held without bond, and happy an investigation caught up with him. 

Houston police say their entire investigation into Mitchell started when Mitchell called them to report a hate crime. He told police someone had spray-painted "Fu** Israel" on his truck. 

Dustin even posting to his YouTube page in March when he made the report. 

Police say through their investigation, they found Mitchell's story to not add up. 

"We do believe he spray-painted it on himself. We did find spray paint bottles the same color as the spray paint on his truck," said Detective Tsai. 

This made police look further into Mitchell, finding out about his past in Missouri and Dallas, then finding new evidence of fraud here. 

"I'd like to see him put in jail for the rest of his life," said Travis.

Mitchell is being held in Harris County jail without bond. 

If you think you may have been a victim of Mitchell's, contact Major Offenders at (713) 308-3100.