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

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

That is the message from the District Lawyer’s Workplace in New York Metropolis, which lately introduced prices in opposition to 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 via a collection of romance and funding scams.

“He allegedly fed lie after mislead ladies 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 way of life,” mentioned District Lawyer Alvin L. Bragg, Jr.

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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 properties in London, Manhattan, and the South of France, in response to the indictment.

In actuality, Counne would not personal any properties and by no means travels internationally‚ÄĒhe would 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 had 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 supply an internet lottery that potential faculty college students may pay to enter for an opportunity to win tuition protection.

“Many of the victims had been initially hesitant, however Counne endured till every agreed to speculate,” in response to a press launch by the Manhattan District Lawyer’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 shedding roughly $1 billion to romance scams, in response to the FBI.

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