The Real Reason Chris Hansen Got Busted for Writing Bad Checks

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine Hollywood celebrities being broke. When you’re earning thousands or even millions of dollars per episode starring on a hit television series, it seems impossible that a celebrity’s financial status could ever suffer. But oftentimes that’s exactly what happens.

Take the latest bizarre news about famed To Catch a Predator host Chris Hansen. He was just arrested for writing $13,000 worth of bad checks. Not once – but twice! What really happened with this seemingly nice guy who just wants to put the bad guys in jail? Well, it’s complicated.

Who is Chris Hansen?

With a distinctive voice and a penchant for putting away predators, Chris Hansen has had several jobs in Hollywood. Hansen was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. In the past, he said watching the police investigation of Jimmy Hoffa inspired him to become a journalist. His first reporting job was with a Michigan NBC affiliate.

Hansen is best known for his work on a segment of Dateline NBC called To Catch a Predator, where police officers posed as young teens in online chat rooms to help shut down sexual predators. They set up meetings at “sting houses” and then filmed the moment when these creeps were put to justice. The popularity of the series inspired a few spinoffs including To Catch a Con Man and To Catch an I.D. Thief.

Is Chris Hansen broke now?

To Catch a Predator ended in 2007 and it appears that Chris Hansen has been chasing that success ever since. The former host is married with two kids and lives in Connecticut. After his main source of income was canceled, he participated in projects such as a syndicated news show called Crime Watch Daily and yet another To Catch a Predator spinoff, Hansen vs. Predator in 2016.

As of January 2019, CelebrityNetWorth reported that Chris Hansen has a net worth of about $500,000. Which is what makes this news so surprising.

Why did Chris Hansen get arrested?

Chris Hansen turned himself in to Stamford police near his Connecticut home after they issued a warrant for his arrest. Hansen was accused of writing $13,000 worth of bad checks. What was he writing them for? Apparently, it goes back to the summer of 2017, when he used the checks to pay for promotional items such as hats, shirts, and mugs which a local company custom made. Hansen had apparently tried to purchase 355 mugs, 288 t-shirts and 650 vinyl decals from the mom and pop shop.

“The owner and Hansen go back and forth for a period of time,” said Sgt. Sam Scanlan. Then in April 2018, Hansen wrote the business owner yet another bad check. This was after Hansen had requested splitting the payment up into four smaller payments. The store owner refused.

The items may have been used to fulfill a Kickstarter campaign that Hansen started to fund his show Hansen vs. Predator. The campaign promised mugs and t-shirts in exchange for a monetary donation.

Hansen was released without bond and promised to return to court for sentencing.