Colorado mother and daughter are accused in an internet dating scam spanning 40 countries, in which fake soldiers started relationships with women, then asked them for money, CBS Denver reported.
The victims were allegedly cheated out of more than $1 million.
An indictment from the Colorado Attorney General accuses Tracy and Karen Vasseur of Adams County of being part of a “Nigerian internet romance scam” involving people pretending to be military members serving in Afghanistan.
Tracy, 41, and her mother, Karen, 73, live in Brighton. They allegedly tricked women into relationships and accepted payments via wire over a three-year period.
Prosecutors said six of their victims live in Colorado. Investigators believe there are 374 victims in all, from 41 countries including the United States, CBS Denver reported.
The indictment claims the mother-and-daughter scammers took a percentage of the stolen money and then wired the remaining money to associates in Nigeria.
They allegedly established 20 personal and business bank accounts at 11 local banks for the purposes of laundering stolen money. The business was listed under the name A-Team Distributions Inc. and KKJ Services.
As part of the scheme, Tracy also allegedly used her own 16-year-old daughter to fraudulently receive stolen money and then wire it to Nigeria.
According to CBS Denver, Tracy Vasseur faces up to 205 years in prison if convicted on all counts, and her mother faces up to 172 years behind bars.
- CBS News