February 22, 2024

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He scams a Holocaust survivor and steals more than $2.8 million

He scams a Holocaust survivor and steals more than $2.8 million

A World War II survivor was defrauded of his savings by a woman he met on a dating site, prosecutors in the case say.

Beach Sterko, a 36-year-old Florida woman, also known as Alice, was arrested Wednesday for wire fraud. Sterco was able to scam an 87-year-old man and get more than $2.8 million from him. The woman bought Rolex watches, a boat and other luxury items with the old man’s money, CNN reported.

The 36-year-old Floridian met the unidentified victim on a dating site six or seven years ago. Prosecutors say that in 2017, she asked him for money to pay her attorney so she could receive the settlement funds he said she owed him. The solution, lawyers said, is no.

Over the next five years, according to CNN, Sterko repeatedly lied to the man to get monthly checks, often in $50,000 increments.

The scheme used was simple: she posed as a bank employee, sent fake bills and created a fake email account, promising the victim that she would be reimbursed if she continued to deposit money.

According to CNN, Sterko used the money to buy himself a house, a condo, a yacht and numerous cars, including a Corvette. Prosecutors allege she used the money to travel and buy gold and silver bars, jewelry and designer clothes.

In 2021, the alleged victim told his son that Sterco gave him all of his savings because he believed Sterco was going to get his money back. The victim stopped writing checks after his son told him he had been scammed. Unfortunately, the 87-year-old still lost his apartment.

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If convicted, Sterko could face up to 20 years in prison.

The Federal Trade Commission said losses from romance scams will reach $547 million in 2021, more than six times the $87 million lost in 2017. This type of fraud hits the older community harder than other age groups, according to the Federal Trade Commission.