Fake Florida doctor sentenced to 9 years for dating scam

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man was sentenced to nine years in federal prison after pleading guilty to defrauding more than 30 women of more than $1.3 million by pretending to be a doctor on online dating services, prosecutors said Thursday.

Brian Brainard Wedgeworth, 47, who formerly lived in the Florida capital city of Tallahassee and in Center Point, Alabama, used 10 different aliases as part of the scheme, according to court records.

“Our citizens should not be preyed upon by fraudsters who steal through overtures of affection,” U.S. Attorney Jason Cody said in a news release.

Wedgeworth made promises to the women to con them into sending him money, jewelry and watches, according to court documents. He pleaded guilty to 25 counts, including wire fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service and the Internal Revenue Service, and authorities said they are searching for any additional victims.

Wedgeworth’s sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release. He will also be required to pay nearly $1.2 million in restitution.

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