Love doctor? Former Tallahassee man poses as surgeon to scam women on dating sites, feds say

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 11:44 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2021 at 11:56 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Federal prosecutors say a man who used to live in Tallahassee pretended to be a surgeon on dating websites in order to scam women out of their money.

According to the Northern District of Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office, 46-year-old Brian Wedgeworth used at least 13 different aliases between Oct. 2016 and March 2021 as he swindled women on various online dating forums.

The indictment says he was able to establish relationships with at least 21 women in Florida, California, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Maryland using websites like Match, Plenty of Fish, Chrisitan Mingle, Hinge and Bumble.

“The indictment further alleges that Wedgeworth made promises to the women in order to induce them to send him money and buy him jewelry and watches,” the press release says. “Wedgeworth is alleged to have fraudulently obtained more than $750,000 in funds and property as a result of his scheme.”

While pretending to be a doctor on the dating sites, Wedgeworth would offer to pay the women’s loans and other debts to gain their trust, the indictment says. The women would then give him their personal identification information, accounts numbers, passwords and logins.

Wedgeworth would then send electronic payments to the women’s various creditors; however, those payments were made with bank accounts with insufficient funds or were previously closed, the court document says.

“By making these electronic payments, Brian Wedgeworth caused these women to receive notifications from their lenders and creditors that payments were made on their debts and their debts were paid in full, when in fact they had not been paid in full,” the indictment says.

Before the payments were supposed to clear and post to the women’s debts, Wedgeworth would tell the women lies to get them to send him money or buy Rolexes, according to the indictment. Two lies he told the women included saying he didn’t have enough money to pay for his fictitious medical practice’s expenses and saying his bank accounts were frozen because of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The U.S. Attorney says Wedgeworth was arrested in Tennessee on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

He made his first appearance at a federal court in Nashville. Wedgeworth will be detained temporarily until his detention hearing and arraignment are held at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee, the release says.

Wedgeworth faces up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud and mail fraud counts, up to 10 years in prison for the money laundering counts and a minimum mandatory sentence of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft count.

The IRS Criminal Field Office in Tampa says it is still looking for victims in Wedgeworth’s scheme. If you believe you were in contact with Brian Wedgeworth, or any of his aliases (listed below), reach out to the United State Postal Inspection Service via email:

Wedgeworth’s aliases listed in the indictment:

  • Dr. Brian Anderson
  • Dr. Anthony Watkins
  • Dr. Brian Adams
  • Dr. Edward Chen
  • Dr. Brian Chris
  • Dr. Chris Williamson
  • Dr. Brian Christopher Williamson
  • Dr. Brian Edmonds
  • Dr. Brian Ammerson
  • Dr. Brian Lamar Wilson
  • Dr. Brian Wilson
  • Dr. Brian Mims
  • Dr. Brian Lamar Sims

You can read the full indictment below or at this link.

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