New York Man Steals $1.8 Million in Romance Scam
A New York man has been accused of stealing over $1.8 million through a romance scam he allegedly ran for approximately eight years on women he met on dating apps.
According to a report by Aliza Chasan of CBS News, 69-year-old Nelson Counne allegedly lied to at least five women that he was wealthy, retired, an art dealer and an investor with homes in New York City, London, and France.
According to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Counne has never even traveled outside the United States and doesn't even own a passport.
Bragg stated "He allegedly fed lie after lie to women he falsely claimed to have romantic interest in, enticing them with investment opportunities that never existed while using their funds to repay past victims, lure in new ones and fund his lifestyle."
According to the report, between December 2012 and January 2021, Counne convinced women to invest with him and then lived solely on that money for eight years. Using fake names, such as "Nelson Roth" and "Justin Roth," he would allegedly ask for the women for an initial investment and then continue to request more as time went on. He then used the money to make himself seem wealthier to trick other women into "investing" as well. He then used the new proceeds to repay previous victims who learned that they were being scammed by Counne.
Counne was charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, grand larceny in the second degree and grand larceny in the third degree.