Man accused of stealing money from women searching for love pleaded guilty to fraud charges
ATHENS-CLARK COUNTY, Ga — Federal investigators say Brian Wedgeworth used more than a dozen aliases to lure women using online dating apps. WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida, spoke with one of Wedgeworth’s alleged victims in 2017. Tekesia Johnson told them she was tricked by Wedgeworth, who then called himself “Doctor Brian Adams.” Investigators say Wedgeworth worked to build relationships with at least 21 people in eight states, including Georgia. They believe he profited from more than $750,000.
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One woman listed in the federal indictment is from Athens-Clarke County, Georgia. According to a police report from March 2021, the woman told police she wired Wedgeworth $8,000 after he appeared to pay money on her mortgage and student loans. Police turned the case over to federal investigators.
Investigators say Wedgeworth would develop relationships with women he met online and work to gain their trust. They say he offered to pay off debts to get banking and personal information. Women told investigators he would then ask them for money or gifts. Prosecutors say he paid the accounts with insufficient funds, and by the time victims realized the transactions didn’t go through, many were already out thousands of dollars.
Romance scams have resulted in one of the highest amounts of financial losses compared to other internet crimes, according to the FBI.
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