The former business partner of an influencer who ran a $1 million coronavirus scam said she “scared” him.
A social media influencer this week pleaded guilty to using more than $1 million in pandemic relief funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle she flaunted online. Her former business partner and boyfriend, a victim of her intrigues years before her latest swindle, said he was relieved and excited to hear the news of her request.
Mackinzie Dae was initially delighted to hear that Danielle Miller was behind bars shortly after she learned of her guilty plea to fraud and identity theft charges on Monday, but his fear that she might be manipulating the situation grew when he spoke about her.
Dae is a former war veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and turned to public relations and social media influence after his military service. He said Miller used his identity to open bank accounts and credit cards and even tried to fund a Tesla in his name while they built a public relations firm together – which destroyed his credit and even led to his car being repossessed.
Dae, 34, who Miller met through a mutual friend in 2018, said over the phone he’s worried she has “something up her sleeve or some kind of angle” to plead guilty. However, he claimed that their arrest “should have been earlier.”
“This girl scares me,” he said.
Still, Dae said he’s confident the guilty plea could lead to more people coming forward.
“The more publicity she gets, the more people are going to come up and be like, ‘Oh my god, that woman ruined my life,'” Dae said.
Miller, 32, assumed the identities of several people to use the government’s coronavirus aid, which has been helping small businesses during the 2020 lockdown. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said she received around $1.5 million through fraud to fund a glamorous living, which she shared with followers of her Instagram account @killadmilla.
In a video hearing Monday, Miller agreed in a plea bargain to forfeit $1.3 million and serve a six-year sentence. She is already serving a five-year sentence for a conviction in a separate Florida bank fraud case in October.
Miller’s attorney, Mitchell C. Elman, said in an emailed statement that “Ms. Miller has accepted responsibility for her role in the offenses charged in the indictment,” which charged her with three counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft . He said in an email that he and Miller may have more to say at the June sentencing, but declined to comment further.
Five victims were listed in the indictment, although they were not identified. Their names were used to fraudulently collect nearly $940,000 in SBA loans, the court document said. Dae is not one of the five victims in the case; His relationship with Miller predates the downside of the coronavirus.
Dae said their partnership began to unravel after he noticed a series of red flags and caught Miller telling numerous lies about their business and personal lives and various funds. He called it “a total social nightmare.”
In an incident Dae previously reported to New York Magazine, Miller used multiple email accounts under her father’s and her father’s secretary’s names to pressure Dae to act on various matters. He said she would have “full conversations” from three different people over email chains that included Dae to threaten or harass him.
“It wasn’t even over a long period of time,” he said. “That’s when I started to think that this girl is really dangerous.”
He shared an email in the fall of 2018 specifically urging Miller “not to buy anything under my name or open accounts,” adding, “Once again, do not act on my behalf in any financial or legal matter.” “
In their final confrontation, Miller threatened to kill himself, which was particularly challenging for Dae since a soldier in his unit had committed suicide. Still, he said Miller told him, “I’m going to kill myself and you’re going to have another friend on your hands.”
That was the last straw for Dae. He contacted the Los Angeles Police Department, where they lived, who took Miller in for a psychiatric evaluation. While she was gone, he found a debit card in his name, which he never opened. He then discovered that she had used his name to apply for credit cards, including an American Express card. She had also opened accounts at Cash App, Venmo, Charles Schwab, and numerous others in his name. She even tried to borrow on his behalf to buy a Tesla, he said.
“There are still accounts out there that I just don’t know about or have access to,” said Dae, who shared that his credit score was negatively impacted, he lost access to bank accounts and his car was impounded because of Miller . “Plus, she’ll never forget my social security number.”
Dae said he’s still scared Miller will contact him. Automated calls or texts from numbers he doesn’t recognize make him nervous as he thinks she’s trying to manipulate him. This whole experience, he said, drove him to quit working in PR and social media. Now he has found his new passion of working in New York at a data center focused on cryptocurrency.
Despite the life change, Dae said he fears Miller’s name will follow him for the rest of his life and that one of his worst phases may prove to define him.
“It’s always going to come up eventually,” Dae said. “I’m just worried that people will just always question my business and everything that comes with it.”