His Offer to Pay Off Women's Debt Was Too Good to Be True

Brian Wedgeworth pleads guilty to scamming women of more than $1M
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2022 10:12 AM CDT
Single Doctor Looking for Love Was Really 'Casanova Scammer'
Brian Wedgeworth was no doctor.   (Getty Images / Pavel Muravev)

(Newser) – A single surgeon who went to Harvard Medical School and was looking for love. Brian Wedgeworth sounded like a catch. The Florida man was anything but. Wedgeworth, 46, on Thursday pleaded guilty in Tallahassee's federal court to wire fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering and could end up with sentences of more than 100 years in prison if the maximum penalty is applied for each count, reports the Tallahassee Democrat. Prosecutors say Wedgeworth, who has been dubbed the "Casanova Scammer," wasn't a doctor and didn't attend Harvard—or UPenn, Duke, or Johns Hopkins, as he variously claimed on dating sites like Match.com, ChristianMingle, and Elite Singles, reports the New York Times.

Prosecutors allege Wedgeworth scammed at least $1.3 million from more than 30 women across eight states from roughly October 2016 to March 2021. He allegedly promised to help some of the women pay off loans and debts as a means to obtain their banking and Social Security numbers. The Washington Post cites court documents that allege he showed a few women forged pay stubs; one reportedly indicated his salary was more than $585,000. The Democrat reports he met the women in person to allay any fears that he was a scammer; one woman said he asked her to FaceTime him so he could be sure she wasn't a scammer.

The Post details his alleged process, per prosecutors: He'd pay off their debt using bank accounts that had "insufficient funds and were previously closed." The women would get a notification that the payment had been made, and before they were re-notified that the payment actually hadn't gone through, Wedgeworth would ask them for money, sometimes saying he was low on cash because of the payment he had just made on their behalf. Armed with their banking info, he also allegedly added himself as an authorized user of their debit and credit accounts. He'll be sentenced Aug. 8. (Read more online scam stories.)

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