Woman sentenced for defrauding seniors of over $2.6M in online romance scams
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A Texas woman was sentenced Wednesday for defrauding senior citizens of over $2.6 million through an internet scheme.
Dominique Golden, 31, admitted to collecting and banking over $1.26 million that she and co-conspirators took from victims of “internet based romance scams” that they created.
United States Attorney Zachary Cunha said in order to execute this scam, members of the conspiracy contacted victims online.
They would develop relationships with the victims, convince victims that the money was needed for an urgent purpose, and directed the victims to send money via mail or wire transfer.
Golden had previously admitted to obtaining fraudulent identification using various aliases.
To receive and deposit victims’ funds, she created businesses in her own name and in the names of her aliases, and opened multiple bank accounts using both her aliases and businesses.
Cunha said in 2018, from Feb. 4 to Dec. 12, Golden collected and deposited a total of $1,263,822.54 into the bank accounts she controlled.
Golden confessed that members of the conspiracy defrauded victims of approximately $2,545,041 while Golden was involved in the conspiracy.
On Sept. 1, 2022, Golden pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
Wednesday, she was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of federal supervised release. She will also have to pay $1,263,822.54 in restitution.
Cunha added that Golden must forfeit all interest in any fraud-related assets traceable or derived from her criminal conduct in this matter that were seized from her residence and vehicles during execution of search warrants in September 2109. This includes:
- A 2018 Bentley Bentayga
- A 2017 Mercedes E-Class
- $11,731 seized from her home and from the Bentley
- 13 money orders totaling $6,000 in money orders
- A gold oyster perpetual women’s Rolex watch
- A gold oyster perpetual men’s Rolex watch
- A gold and diamond Rolex bezel
- A 16” gold rope chain with a diamond coin pendant
- A 24” gold rope chain
- Three firearms
Golden’s 78-month term will be served concurrently with a separate 54-month sentence for conspiracy to commit money laundering in an unrelated fraud scheme that she began serving in 2020.