Maryland Man, Eugene Johnson Pleads Guilty to Financial Scams Using Online Dating Sites
RICHMOND, VA (STL.News) A Leonardtown, Maryland man pleaded guilty today to mail fraud in connection with an online dating site romance scam.
“Through his use of fictitious personas, the defendant’s fraudulent scheme preyed on members of our community who thought they were helping a servicemember with significant financial needs,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “As this case demonstrates, we will continue to hold accountable those who use online forums to defraud victims.”
According to court documents, beginning in December 2014 and continuing through at least January 2018, Eugene Johnson Jr., 39, used online dating sites to establish romantic connections with various women. In these communications, Johnson used aliases and made other false claims about his identity, frequently describing himself as a U.S. Marine with a son whose mother had died. When purporting to establish a romantic relationship with his victims, Johnson claimed that he wanted to marry each victim, buy a house with her, and raise his son and any children they might have together.
Shortly thereafter, Johnson would ask the victims to send him money for various pressing financial needs.