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

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Look out for folks on relationship apps who provide 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 prices towards a mendacity Lothario they allege swindled his lovers out of hundreds of 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 ladies by means of a sequence of romance and funding scams.

“He allegedly fed lie after deceive ladies he falsely claimed to have a romantic curiosity in, engaging 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,” mentioned District Legal professional Alvin L. Bragg, Jr.

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

In actuality, Counne does not personal any properties and by no means travels internationally‚ÄĒhe does not also have a passport. His sole supply of earnings 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 speculate 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 government, which would offer a web based lottery that potential faculty college students may pay to enter for an opportunity to win tuition protection.

“Many of the victims have been initially hesitant, however Counne continued till every agreed to speculate,” based on 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 considered one of 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 prices 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 usually are not unusual. In 2021, some 24,000 victims reported dropping roughly $1 billion to romance scams, based on the FBI.

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