Florida Man Acting As A Surgeon Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Over $1.3M From 30 Woman In Online Dating Scam

The Free Press - TFP
The Free Press - TFP

Brian Brainard Wedgeworth, 46, pleaded guilty on Thursday to 25 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering.

Court documents show that between October 2016 and March 2021, Wedgeworth devised a scheme to defraud women he met through online dating forums by falsely representing that he was a physician in order to fraudulently obtain money and property from them.

In so doing, Wedgeworth made promises to the women to induce them to send him money and buy him jewelry and watches.

Wedgeworth admitted to causing, or intending to cause, a total loss of over $1.3 million to over 30 women who he victimized as a result of his scheme.

“Our citizens should not be preyed upon by fraudsters who steal through overtures of affection,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “With the assistance of our dedicated law enforcement partners, we are committed to investigating and vigorously prosecuting those who engage in all acts of fraud.”

Sentencing in this case is set for August 8, 2022, at 10:00 a.m., at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee before the Honorable United States District Judge Robert L. Hinkle.

Wedgeworth faces up to 20 years in prison on wire fraud and mail fraud counts, up to 10 years in prison on the money laundering counts, and a minimum mandatory sentence of 2 years in prison, consecutive to any other imprisonment that is imposed, for the aggravated identity theft count.

“Rooting out fraudulent schemes furthered by the U.S. Mail, such as romance scams, remains a top priority for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service,” said Juan A. Vargas, Acting Inspector In Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Miami Division. “Our agency will continue to investigate those that target innocent individuals and abuse their trust for financial gain.”

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