Texas woman pleads guilty to role in $2.6M romance scam
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Texas woman who played a role in internet romance scams that cheated victims out of a total of about $2.6 million pleaded guilty Thursday to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud, federal prosecutors in Rhode Island said.
Dominique Golden, 31, of Houston, personally collected nearly $1.3 million in cash, checks, money orders, and wire transfers from people across the U.S. that was deposited into bank accounts opened under the names of fake people and businesses that she controlled, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha.
Golden’s alleged accomplices contacted victims via the internet and app-based communication platforms, cultivated the relationships, and convinced the victims that they needed money, prosecutors said.
Golden was aware that other members of the conspiracy contacted the victims for the sole purpose of perpetrating the scam, prosecutors said.
Under a plea agreement, Golden will forfeit assets derived from her criminal conduct, including two luxury cars, three handguns, three Rolex watches, and a 24-inch (61-centimeter) gold chain, prosecutors said.
In exchange, prosecutors said they would recommend a sentence at the low end of sentencing guidelines.
An email seeking comment was left with her attorney.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 6.