Former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Cary Dolego was found living on the streets in Ukraine last week, the Associated Press reports.
Dolego, a Green Party write-in candidate last year, was the victim of a dating scam that left him homeless and penniless until he was discovered by a local charity. He had been hoping to find investors for an engineering project and marry a woman named Yulia he had met online.
“I was looking for a Ukrainian mate, a partner, somebody who would stay with me, be my wife,’’ Dolego told the news service. “All the Slavic ladies in this part of the world are absolutely delightful.’’
Unable to track her down or find willing investors, Dolego was evicted from the room he was occupying and joined a group of homeless men roaming the streets of Chernivtsi on the Romanian border. He was discovered by social workers shocked to find a man speaking fluent English and carrying an American passport.
“He looked bad — his clothes were dirty, he was dirty, he looked like a typical homeless man,’’ said a member of the People’s Help charity.
Suffering from pneumonia, Dolego was hospitalized. There he finally met Yulia, the woman he had travelled so far to find.
It turned out Yulia’s computer had been hacked. A 29 year-old doctor by training, she claimed she had no idea that Dolego existed, much less that he had traveled so far just to search for her.
Dolego had been paying to send her emails. She denied any involvement in the scam, and visited the hospital after hearing what had happened.
“I went to the hospital and he started hugging me: ‘Oh Yulia, oh Yulia!’ I was shocked,” she told the AP. “He thought we were getting married.”
Ever the optimist, Dolego, who believes he has discovered a “lifesaving” way to save planes and ships from disaster, said he could still picture him and Yulia working it out.
“We seemed to hit it off,” he said. “She wants to continue with the relationship.”
Yulia was less sanguine about their prospects, saying Dolego is “not really her type.”
The charity that found him is planning to buy Dolego a plane ticket to Kiev once he recovers. The American Embassy declined to comment, citing the Privacy Act.