Crime 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 By Anna Lazarus Caplan Anna Lazarus Caplan Instagram Twitter Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on January 26, 2023 10:53 AM Share Tweet Pin Email 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. Fla. Nursing Assistant Charged With Stealing $100k From Elderly Holocaust Survivors She Cared For "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. U.S. Attorney's Office "In May 2017, bank records show the Victim wrote his first check to Stergo for $25,000," it continues. New Jersey Man Gets 3 Years in Prison for Fake Tom Brady Super Bowl Ring Scam 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. Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases. 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.