The U.S. Department of Justice, the Massachusetts Attorney’s Office, Thursday, December 17 disclosed a $600K romance and lottery scam. According to the report, the man, named Austin Nedved hails from Northborough, Massachusetts. He based his scam activities on vulnerable and elderly looking for romance and relationships.
He pleaded guilty, Thursday and agreed he has been in the business since 2017 before he was apprehended. From 2017 to 2019, he uses peer to peer cryptocurrency exchanges like Paxful, and LocalBitcoins.com to perpetuate his acts.
“Despite knowing or being willfully blind to the fact that his customers were fraud victims, Nedved sold bitcoin to them so that they could send money overseas to the fraudsters,” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of District of Massachusetts reveals.
His victims, mainly elderly and vulnerable, got scammed in an attempt to find love, affection and marriages. A typical case as reported was a 78-year woman who was promised a faked marriage by a man named Jonathan G. Jonathan G the victim he was an oil businessman, and in crisis, so he needs money to fix himself.
The 78 years victims were said to meet Nedved at a car park on June 25, 2018, where she gave him a cashier’s check to purchase bitcoin on two occasions. At first, she gave Nedved around $100,000 in bitcoin. And on another occasion, Nedved and his co-conspirators collected $40,000 from the victim.
In total, the group has converted over $630K of victims’ cash into bitcoin, knowing that the funds were the proceeds of scams and other unlawful activities, per the DOJ release. They refunded part of the funds in some cases while in other they don’t. However, Nedved was charged with aiding and abetting wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy, both of which bring maximum sentences of 20 years in prison, plus fines.
Okereke has a passion for researching blockchain and cryptocurrency. He enjoys creating long form educational content to inform others on the opportunities in this space.