Brian Wedgeworth, purporting to be a medical doctor who had attended prestigious universities, persuaded women he met on dating websites to send him large sums of money, luxury items and bank account information. Wedgeworth played a doctor on Match.com, ChristianMingle, Elite Singles and other dating websites, federal prosecutors said. They said he had not attended those universities. Wedgeworth, whom the authorities are calling “the Casanova Scammer,” developed romantic relationships with women across the U.S. by presenting himself falsely, reports the New York Times.
He defrauded more than 30 women out of at least $1.3 million between 2016 and 2021, prosecutors said. They said he used the money to buy items like Rolex watches and tickets to a 2018 Sugar Bowl game between Clemson and Alabama. On Thursday, Wedgeworth, 46, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Tallahassee, Fla., to 25 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Armed with at least a dozen aliases, all starting with “Dr.,” Wedgeworth presented himself on dating profiles as a physician and surgeon who was affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Medical School. He falsely told women that he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity because many of the women were former members of sororities. Investigators said he told them he would help pay off their loans and other debts, so many women sent him their banking information and Social Security numbers.