PROVIDENCE – A Houston, TX, woman today admitted to a federal judge in Providence, RI, that she participated in a conspiracy that scammed unsuspecting and trusting victims of more than $2.6 million dollars through internet-based “romance scams,” and that she personally collected more than $1.26 million dollars in cash, checks, money orders, and wire transfers from individuals from across the United States, and deposited the funds into bank accounts she controlled, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
Dominique Golden, 31, admitted that, as part of the scam, she opened mailboxes and bank accounts in the names of fake individuals and businesses for the purpose of receiving and depositing “romance scam” victim funds. From approximately February 4, 2018, through December 12, 2018, she collected and deposited a total of $1,263,822.54 into bank accounts she controlled.
A United States Postal Inspection Service investigation determined that, collectively, members of the conspiracy defrauded victims of approximately $2,619,839.
To carry out the scheme, members of the conspiracy contacted victims via the internet and app-based communication platforms, cultivated relationships of trust, convinced the victims that money was needed, and then directed the victims to send money via mail or wire transfer to various persons, including Golden. Golden was aware that other members of the conspiracy contacted and developed relationships with the victims for the sole purpose of perpetrating the scam.
Golden pleaded guilty today to one count each of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. She is scheduled to be sentenced on December 6, 2022. The defendant’s sentence will be determined by a federal district judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Denise M. Barton, with the assistance of Assistant United States Attorney Dulce Donovan.
According to a plea agreement filed in this matter, Golden will forfeit all interest in any fraud-related assets traceable or derived from her criminal conduct; this includes a 2018 Bentley Bentayga; a 2017 Mercedes E-Class; a gold oyster perpetual women’s Rolex watch; a gold oyster perpetual men’s Rolex watch; a gold and diamond Rolex bezel; a 16” gold rope chain with a diamond coin pendant; a 24” gold rope chain; three firearms; and $11,731 seized from her home and from the Bentley.