Purported Surgeon Sentenced To 9 Years In Federal Prison For Romance Scam Involving Online Dating Websites
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Brian Brainard Wedgeworth (a/k/a “Dr. Brian Anderson,” a/k/a “Dr. Anthony Watkins,” a/k/a “Dr. Brian Adams,” a/k/a “Dr. Edward Chen,” a/k/a “Dr. Brian Chris,” a/k/a “Dr. Chris Williamson,” a/k/a “Dr. Brian Christopher Williamson,” a/k/a “Dr. Brian Edmonds,” a/k/a “Dr. Brian Ammerson,” a/k/a “Dr. Brian Lamar Wilson,” a/k/a “Dr. Brian Wilson,” a/k/a “Dr. Brian Mims,” a/k/a “Dr. Brian Lamar Sims”), 47, formerly of Tallahassee, Florida, and Center Point, Alabama, was sentenced to 9 years in federal prison after pleading guilty on May 19, 2022, to twenty-five counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney, for the Northern District of Florida announced the sentence.
“Our citizens should not be preyed upon by fraudsters who steal through overtures of affection,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “With the assistance of our dedicated law enforcement partners, we are committed to investigating and vigorously prosecuting those who engage in all acts of fraud. Moreover, today’s sentence should serve as a significant deterrent to criminals of like mind.”
According to court documents, between October 2016 and March 2021, Wedgeworth devised a scheme to defraud women located across the country who he met through online dating forums by falsely representing that he was a physician in order to fraudulently obtain money and property from them. In so doing, Wedgeworth made promises to the women to induce them to send him money and buy him jewelry and watches. Wedgeworth admitted to causing, or intending to cause, a total loss of over $1.3 million to over 30 women who he victimized as a result of his scheme.
“Rooting out fraudulent schemes furthered by the U.S. Mail, such as romance scams, remains a top priority for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service,” said Juan A. Vargas, Acting Inspector In Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Miami Division. “Our agency will continue to investigate those that target innocent individuals and abuse their trust for financial gain.”
Wedgeworth’s federal prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release. He will also be required to pay $1,161,325.82 in restitution.
The conviction and associated sentence was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the United State Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Justin M. Keen prosecuted the case.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.