In a case similar to the “Tinder Swindler,”court documents show Brian Brainard Wedgeworth, from Tallahassee, Florida, posed as a doctor for nearly five years to defraud women, asking them to send him money, watches and jewelry.
Documents show Wedgeworth targeted women on dating apps including Plenty of Fish, Hinge, Christian Mingle, and Elite Singles, promising to pay off their loans and other debts to access their financial information.
He would tell false stories to get them to send him money, including that he had no money after supposedly paying off their debts, and that his accounts were frozen due to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Gifts Wedgeworth received from his victims included a Rolex watch worth more than $14,000 and tickets to a college football playoff game between Clemson and Alabama in 2018.
Wedgeworth is reported to have used more than a dozen aliases, including “Dr. Edward Chen” and “Dr. Brian Wilson.” He claimed to have attended a number of prestigious colleges including Harvard Medical School and Duke University.
The Justice Department said Wedgeworth faces up to 20 years in prison on wire fraud charges, 10 years for money laundering, and a minimum mandatory sentence of two years in prison.
Jason Coody, US Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, said:”Our citizens should not be preyed upon by fraudsters who steal through overtures of affection. 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.”
The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for further comment.