70-year-old Nelson Counne, of New York, has been indicted on several charges for supposedly scamming over $1.8 million from multiple women. He met them on dating apps, prosecutors noted.
Counne has never been out of the country and has no passport; however, he told five women that he was a rich, former art dealer who was an investor with residences in New York City, London, and France.
Counne has been accused of making the women think that he was interested in them romantically and luring them in with investments opportunities that were never going to happen. He then used their money to pay back other victims and to supply his luxurious lifestyle.
While using different aliases, Counne conducted the scheme from 2012 to 2021. He told the women that about investment deals that he described were in a “gray area between legal and illegal,” inferring that he had inside knowledge in certain instances.
The women would agree to provide the funds once Counne would tell them that his accounts were frozen or his money was tied up in other investment deals. On the other hand, he vowed to pay them back with “substantial profit” in return.
Authorities say that Counne would request that the women provide him with money for the initial investment, and once those funds were in place, he would request more money.
Counne has been charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, grand larceny in the second degree, and grand larceny in the third degree.