Purported Surgeon Pleads Guilty To 25 Counts Relating To Romance Scam Involving Online Dating Websites

Published 4:31 pm Thursday, May 19, 2022

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”), 46, formerly of Tallahassee, Florida, and Center Point, Alabama, plead guilty today to 25 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. The plea was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Court documents reflect that between October 2016 and March 2021, Wedgeworth devised a scheme to defraud women 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.

“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.”

Sentencing in this case is set for August 8, 2022, at 10:00 a.m., at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee before the Honorable United States District Judge Robert L. Hinkle. Wedgeworth faces up to 20 years in prison on wire fraud and mail fraud counts, up to 10 years in prison on the money laundering counts, and a minimum mandatory sentence of 2 years in prison, consecutive to any other imprisonment that is imposed, for the aggravated identity theft count.

“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.”

This case resulted from a joint investigation by the United State Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), and work is ongoing to ensure that all potential victims are identified.  If you believe that you were in contact with Brian Brainard Wedgeworth, or through one of his aliases, and would like to speak with an investigator, please contact the USPIS by email at Casanovascammer@uspis.gov.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin M. Keen.

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.