PROVIDENCE, RI — An Anderson woman pleaded guilty after she defrauded a 96-year-old widower of thousands of dollars through an online romance scam.
According to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island, 33-year-old Brittany Rakia Shawnai Lasley, an Anderson resident, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
Officials said that Lasley created a fake social media account on the “Plenty of Fish” dating site and began a campaign to persuade the 96-year-old to provide her with money, credit cards, gift cards and his personal identifying information. In total, Lasley admitted to defrauding the widower of around $80,000, gaining access to his checking account and credit card to make numerous unauthorized purchases.
Lasley said that she led the widower to believe that providing her with the items would facilitate meetings between the two and begin a romantic relationship. Lasley had around 89 communications with the widower concerning her alleged needs for funds to cover medical expenses, home repairs and travel to Rhode Island.
Officials said in the release that Lasley is scheduled to be sentenced in November.