Sunday, June 16, 2024

On-line Relationship Scammer Steals $1.8 Million from His Victims

Look out for individuals on courting apps who supply funding alternatives too good to be true.

That is the message from the District Legal professional’s Workplace in New York Metropolis, which not too long ago introduced fees in opposition to a mendacity Lothario they allege swindled his lovers out of thousands and thousands.

Nelson Counne, who additionally goes by “Nelson Roth” or “Justin Roth,” was indicted in a Manhattan court docket for bilking greater than $1.8 million from 5 girls via a collection of romance and funding scams.

“He allegedly fed lie after mislead girls he falsely claimed to have a romantic curiosity in, attractive them with funding alternatives that by no means existed whereas utilizing their funds to repay previous victims, lure in new ones, and fund his life-style,” stated District Legal professional Alvin L. Bragg, Jr.

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Relationship for {dollars}

Counne, 69, met most of his victims by way of on-line courting websites, the place he posed as a rich retired artwork supplier and investor with houses in London, Manhattan, and the South of France, in accordance with the indictment.

In actuality, Counne would not personal any houses and by no means travels internationally—he would not also have a passport. His sole supply of revenue was the cash he stole from his lovers between 2012 and 2021.

The rip-off labored like this: After profitable his victims’ affection and belief, Counne satisfied lots of them to take a position with him. He by no means shared any particulars of his enterprise dealing, claiming the investments have been in a “grey space between authorized and unlawful” and that he had entry to inside data.

A few of his phony investments included Alibaba and a start-up purportedly run by a former Google govt, which would offer a web-based lottery that potential faculty college students might pay to enter for an opportunity to win tuition protection.

“Many of the victims have been initially hesitant, however Counne persevered till every agreed to take a position,” in accordance with a press launch by the Manhattan District Legal professional’s Workplace.

A Ponzi scheme

The DA alleges that Counne ran a traditional Ponzi scheme, utilizing the cash from one in all his marks to pay one other. This enabled him to look rich to new victims and repay earlier victims suspicious of his fraud.

Counne now faces fees of scheme to defraud within the first diploma, grand larceny within the second diploma, and grand larceny within the third diploma.

Romance scams like this should not unusual. In 2021, some 24,000 victims reported shedding roughly $1 billion to romance scams, in accordance with the FBI.

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