A man in the United States was accused of stealing $630,000 from victims of fake romance and fake lottery winnings. According to a U.S. justice press release, Austin Nedvedo admitted that he was leading the scam that converted the victims‘ money into Bitcoin.
The scammer attracted victims with promises of lottery Bitcoin Victory winnings. To win the supposed prize, the victims had to pay „administrative fees“. The stolen amount was converted into Bitcoin, the police found $630,000 in Bitcoin platforms.
The man could now face up to 40 years in prison for electronic fraud and have to pay a fine of up to $750,000.
According to the statement, he used P2P platforms to advertise his services, the main ones being LocalBitcoins.com and Paxful. The man ran the scam from 2017 to 2019, giving scams of fake novels and fake lottery awards.
In the romance scams, the man convinced the victims to send him money, in the case of the lottery, he convinced the victims that they could buy winning tickets, the payment should be in Bitcoin and the scammer himself sold the cryptomeda to his victims. So, even though the victim paid for the digital coins, the money was sent to another scammer.
„From 2017 to 2019, Nedved participated in romance and lottery schemes targeting vulnerable victims. In romance scams, victims were directed to send money abroad to people who believed they had romantic interests, while in lottery scams victims are convinced that they can buy a winning ticket or receive government subsidies. says the statement.
Scammers attracted victims with promises of lottery winnings and fake romances
In one specific case, a scammer posing as ‚Jonathan G‘ tricked a 78-year-old victim into believing he was an entrepreneur. He convinced his wife that he would marry her. Months after his online romance, he said that his oil company had suffered an accident and that he needed money to repair the damage.
The victim was directed to look for the first con artist, Austin Nedvedo, who sold $100,000 in Bitcoin to his wife, but the Bitcoins were sent directly to the second con artist, „Jonathan G.
„On June 25, 2018, in a car park in Maine, the victim gave Austin a check to buy approximately $100,000 in Bitcoin. He then sent the amount to a wallet controlled by „Jonathan G.“
„When Austin Nedvedo accepted $100,000 from the lady, he knew she was a victim of romance fraud.“
Two days later another scammer managed to steal another $40,000 from the same woman.
After the scams, they converted all the money into Bitcoin, then sent the assets to platforms that offered returns in digital currency or sent them to third parties not yet identified.
Scammer can spend 40 years behind bars
The charges against Austin Nedvedo and 3 other scammers for electronic fraud carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
The charges of gang formation and money laundering provide for another 20-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the amounts involved in the financial transactions that were the subject of the conspiracy.
If convicted, therefore, the conspirators can spend 40 years behind bars. US District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman has scheduled the sentence for April 7, 2020. Austin is in custody serving time for another fraud conviction.