36-Year-Old Woman Accused of Using Romance Scam to Swindle $2.8M from Elderly Holocaust Survivor

Peaches Stergo, of Champions Gate, Florida, is charged with one count of wire fraud after defrauding a Manhattan man of his life's savings, according to an FBI indictment

A Florida woman has been arrested for defrauding an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor of nearly $3 million, authorities announced Wednesday.

Peaches Stergo, 36, of Champions Gate, Florida, has been charged with one count of wire fraud after allegedly coercing millions from an unnamed Manhattan man between 2017 and 2021.

"The defendant callously preyed on a senior citizen simply seeking companionship, defrauding him of his life savings," Michael J. Driscoll, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's New York field office said when announcing the charge on Wednesday, reported CNN.

Stergo, who also goes by the name "Alice," met the man on a dating website about six or seven years ago, according to an indictment from the Justice Department.

"Stergo told the victim that she had settled a lawsuit involving injuries in a car accident but that her lawyer would not release the settlement funds until he received a certain amount of money," adds the indictment.

Peaches Stergo
U.S. Attorney's Office

"In May 2017, bank records show the Victim wrote his first check to Stergo for $25,000," it continues.

From that moment on, Stergo induced the man to write "almost monthly checks" to Stergo, "often in increments of $50,000."

Once each check was deposited, the woman told the victim that her bank "needed more money" or else her account would be frozen and the victim would not be paid back, reads the indictment.

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In October 2021, the man told his son about the arrangement at which point he stopped sending money.

"'Alice,' the defendant, was motivated to engage in the fraud scheme to enrich herself," adds the indictment. "She has lived a life of luxury with the millions she received from the fraud: she bought a home in a gated community, a condominium, a boat, and numerous cars, including a Corvette and a Suburban."

"During the course of the fraud, Stergo also took expensive trips, staying at places like the Ritz Carlton, and spent many tens of thousands of dollars on expensive meals, gold coins and bars, jewelry, Rolex watches, and designer clothing from stores like Tiffany, Ralph Lauren, Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes," it continues.

"The victim lost his life savings and was forced to give up his apartment" as a result, the indictment reads.

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