VIA The NY Post a Florida man is expected to plead guilty Thursday to bilking more than 20 women out of roughly $750,000 by posing as an accomplished surgeon on dating sites, according to the Miami Herald.
Brian Brainard Wedgeworth, 46, of Jacksonville, now faces up to 20 years behind bars for a slew of fraud and money laundering charges in federal court due to his fake dating app scheme.
Wedgeworth, who used more than a dozen aliases during his swindling spree, lured lovelorn women into his grip by claiming to be a single surgeon ready to settle down.
Tallahassee federal prosecutors said he turned scam dating into a dedicated career, canvassing countless sites and manically trawling for vulnerable marks.
One woman, Tenasia Johnson, told authorities that Wedgeworth presented himself online as a thoracic surgeon named Brian Adams.
He quelled her suspicions about his forward manner by offering to pay off her mortgage so they could begin to build a financial future together, according to the Herald.
Once he secured her trust, the fake doctor soon asked her to purchase him a luxury watch so that the single mom could begin to stabilize her credit.
Johnson did so — but soon realized she had been duped when his mortgage payment failed to clear due to woefully insufficient funds.
She dug into his background and discovered countless cases against him in online records. Johnson, who was establishing a salon at the time, was unable to recover the money she spent on Wedgeworth.
She passed away in 2021 just one month before he was indicted, according to the paper.
With the explosive growth of online dating, romance scams have increased in recent years, according to the report. The FBI estimated that victims were tricked out of more than $1 billion last year alone.
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