February 1, 2023

PROVIDENCE — A Houston, TX woman who admitted before a federal judge in Providence, RI, that she received more than $1.26 million of the more than $2.5 million she and co-conspirators allegedly stole from the unsuspecting victims of the Internet-based “romance.” “The scams” they carried out were sentenced today to 78 months in federal prison, US Attorney Zachary A. Cunha announced.

Dominique Golden, 31, previously admitted she obtained a fraudulent identification using various aliases as part of the scam; founded companies in their own names as well as under their aliases; and opened multiple bank accounts using their aliases and businesses, all for the purpose of receiving and depositing funds for victims of “romance fraud.” From around February 4th, 2018 to December 12th, 2018, she has raised and deposited a total of $1,263,822.54 into the bank accounts under her control.

To carry out these plans, members of the conspiracy contacted victims via internet and app-based communication platforms, cultivated relationships of trust, convinced victims that money was needed for an urgent purpose, and then instructed victims to send money through the mail or wire transfer various people, including Golden. Golden admitted she was aware that other members of the conspiracy had contacted and formed relationships with the victims in order to commit the scam.

Golden admitted that during the time Golden was involved in the conspiracy, the members of the conspiracy defrauded victims of a total of approximately $2,545,041.

Golden pleaded guilty on September 1, 2022 to one charge each of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. She was sentenced today by Chief Justice of the US District Court John J. McConnell, Jr. to 78 months in federal prison followed by three years of federally supervised release and $1,263,822.54 in damages.

“Scams that exploit the emotions and vulnerabilities of vulnerable victims — particularly the elderly — to defraud them of their hard-earned life savings are ruthless,” US Attorney Cunha said. “With today’s verdict, Ms. Golden will rightfully trade her stolen luxury for prison overalls, and I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to return at least some of the proceeds of her fraud to her many victims.”

Additionally, Golden will lose all interest in fraudulent assets traceable to or derived from her criminal conduct on the matter that were seized from her home and vehicles during the execution of search warrants in September 2019, including a 2018 Bentley Bentayga ; a 2017 Mercedes E-Class; $11,731 seized from her home and the Bentley, 13 money orders totaling $6,000 in money orders, a gold Oyster Perpetual Rolex women’s watch; a gold Oyster Perpetual Rolex men’s watch; a gold and diamond Rolex bezel; a 16 inch gold cord chain with a diamond coin pendant; a 24-inch gold cord chain; and three firearms. GOLDEN also agreed to withhold an amount of $1,263,822.54 to be set off against the withheld assets and will enter judgment against them for that amount.

Chief Justice McConnell ordered the 78-month sentence imposed today to begin today. This 78-month sentence is being served concurrently with a separate 54-month federal sentence that Golden began serving in March 2020 in the Northern District of Georgia after he was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering in an unrelated fraud conspiracy.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Denise M. Barton with assistance from Assistant US Attorney John McAdams.

The matter was investigated by the US Postal Inspection Service with support from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General and the US Treasury General Inspector for Tax Administration in Atlanta.

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