JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man known as a “Casanova” scammer has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison, after a judge said he showed little remorse and court records show he bragged about landing a book and series deal of Netflix based on their actions.
According to court documents, Brian Wedgeworth, 46, pleaded guilty to 25 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. He will now spend the next nine years in federal prison.
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According to the plea agreement, Wedgeworth swindled 40 women across the country out of more than a million dollars. She created social media accounts and dating website profiles to lure women into believing that she was a respected doctor looking for a wife.
The sentence report includes the aliases he used; all included the title of doctor. He told the women that he was a surgeon and went to Harvard. However, investigators discovered that he did not graduate from college. When investigators caught up with Wedgeworth, he had a fake California driver’s license, a fake Harvard transcript and a fake University of Pennsylvania diploma, they said.
According to the investigation, Wedgeworth used flirtatious tactics in text messages and video chat sessions. She offered to pay the victims’ student loans, home mortgages, car loans and credit card bills. However, victims would receive a notification a few days later saying that the payment did not go through due to insufficient electronic payment.
Between the time of payment and the email, Wedgeworth would meet the victims in person. He asked them to lend him money, telling the women that he would pay them back.
In some cases, according to court documents, he put his name on the victim’s credit card without their knowledge. The cards would be used to purchase high-end watches and jewelry that Wedgeworth would give away and sell to second-hand buyers.
Court documents revealed that the victims fell for his deception because he used familiar terminology, as many of the women also worked in medical professions.
Some of the victims told investigators their lies and deceit made them feel lonely and ashamed of their bodies. One said she “raped her soul, mind, body and spirit and for months (she) cried (herself) herself to sleep.” According to the court document, she also said that he “stole her mental well-being as she struggles every day to maintain a genuine smile and laugh at work or with family/friends as she continues to rebuild her life again.”
Wedgeworth, who has a criminal record that includes convictions for fraud, continued to defraud women while incarcerated in the Georgia state prison system. Court documents revealed several phone calls to family members, including his mother and daughter. During those phone calls, Wedgeworth was recorded saying that he would receive a light sentence and that he would go to a “federal prison camp and you can play golf.” He called it “more of a vacation.”
Wedgeworth also bragged about being called “Florida’s Tinder Scammer” and said he’d get a Netflix book and series deal from this. He also told his daughter that if the Netflix series made them a lot of money, it can help secure his future.
During the sentencing process, two letters were added to the file. One was from Wedgeworth’s ex-wife, who said in a statement: “I have known him for approximately thirty years. We have shared some moments of celebration and milestones as parents of our only daughter. She is a very intelligent and charismatic person who is determined to achieve her goals. Brian has shown that he has a tremendous amount of love and commitment for his family, especially his daughter.”
A second letter was also sent by his mother, who was also listed as one of Wedgeworth’s victims. She wrote: “I am faithfully certain that Brian is sincerely sorry for his actions/criminal behavior and the extent of the damage and loss that has resulted. It has been my prayer and I think he is sorry, and he has decided that when he is through this stage he will continue to be the family man and law-abiding citizen that everyone who knew him hoped he would be.” She added that he was a good kid in general and she doesn’t know when he messed up.
Wedgeworth was sentenced to nine years in federal prison with three years of supervised release. He was eligible for up to 20 years in each of 14 positions.
He will also have to pay $1.1 million in restitution.
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