Alleged dog scammer faces accusers in court

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 23, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Kids expecting to find a cocker spaniel under the Christmas tree last year still haven’t gotten the gift.

The lucky ones got their dogs – but never received the American Kennel Club registration papers identifying the animal’s pedigree linage.

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In Suffolk Circuit Court Thursday, nearly 20 people who had bought dogs from Monica Binkley over the last three years told similar stories of being duped by the Suffolk dog breeder.

Binkley, 35, who has been held in Western Tidewater Regional Jail since her arrest last January, is charged with 28 counts of taking money under false pretenses and one count of writing a worthless check.

Her trial continues today with testimony from an AKC expert.

One by one, dog shoppers – one from as far away as Maryland – talked about their experiences with Binkley, who sold her dog litters through classified newspaper advertisements. Binkley – who represented herself as Monica Arnold and Lisa Marie Pond to some of the customers – would take deposits on litters of cocker spaniels and English Labrador retrievers.

Yolanda Gary of Portsmouth recounted how she was supposed to her up a cocker spaniel for her sons for Christmas on Decd. 24, 2002. After numerous attempts to reach Binkley by phone, Gary said she realized that she had lost her $250 deposit.

&uot;We never got our money back or the dog,&uot; Gary said.

In August 2002, Ami Jordan drove from Maryland to buy a cocker spaniel for $650.

&uot;I only wanted an AKC registered cocker spaniel,&uot; Jordan said. &uot;As of today, I still have no AKC papers for my dog.&uot;