Florida woman accused of scamming Holocaust survivor out of $2.8m in dating site fraud

Ms Stergo allegedly used the money to finance expensive vacations and purchase a cars, a boat, and a house in a gated community

Graig Graziosi
Friday 27 January 2023 21:25 GMT
<p>Peaches Stergo, 36, was arrested and charged with wire fraud for allegedly stealing more than $2.8m from a Holocaust survivor she met on a dating app</p>

Peaches Stergo, 36, was arrested and charged with wire fraud for allegedly stealing more than $2.8m from a Holocaust survivor she met on a dating app

A woman in Florida has been arrested and charged with defrauding an elderly Holocaust survivor, allegedly stealing more than $2.8m from the man.

The Department of Justice announced the arrest of Peaches Stergo, 36, for allegedly stealing millions from the 87-year-old man over the course of four years.

Ms Stergo was taken into custody on Wednesday, and has been charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement this week that Ms Stergo "maliciously" emptied out the Holocaust survivors’ savings account in order to "become a millionaire through fraud."

Ms Stergo reportedly met the man on a dating site sometime between 2016 and 2017 while he was living in Manhattan.

In the beginning of 2017, she allegedly asked him if he could loan her money to pay for a lawyer. The Department of Justice said Ms Stergo was complaining that her lawyer was "refusing to release funds from an injury settlement," though bank records allegedly show no such settlement existed.

Peaches Stergo, 36, was arrested and charged with wire fraud for allegedly stealing more than $2.8m from a Holocaust survivor she met on a dating app

Over the course of four years, prosecutors say Ms Stergo demanded the man send her money to help keep her accounts from being frozen. The man ultimately wrote Ms Stergo 62 checks for a collective $2.8m, according to the DOJ.

She reportedly made fake email accounts and created fake letters and invoices impersonating a TD Bank employee to sell the scheme and to assure the man that "that he would be repaid if he continued to deposit money."

Ms Stergo allegedly used the ill-gotten gains to purchase herself a home in a gated community, Rolex watches, a boat, multiple cars, designer clothing, and to pay for expensive vacations, prosecutors said.

"Stergo forged documents and impersonated a bank employee in exchange for a life of fancy trips, Rolex watches, and luxury purchases," Mr Williams said. "Today’s arrest reemphasizes this Office’s commitment to seeking justice for victims of financial frauds."

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