Florida woman sentenced to 4 years in romance scam that stole Holocaust survivor’s savings

Peaches Stergo, left, leaves Manhattan federal court, Thursday, July 27, 2023, in New York after she was sentenced to more than four years in prison for cheating an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor of $2.8 million. Stergo met him on a dating website seven years ago. Prosecutors say the 36-year-old Champions Gate, Florida, resident used the money to live lavishly. (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister) (Larry Neumeister, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A Florida woman who swindled the life savings from an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor in a “romance scam” was sentenced to over four years in prison Thursday, federal prosecutors said.

Peaches Stergo, 36, stole over $2.8 million in the scam, which lasted years. She was arrested in January and pleaded guilty to wire fraud in April.

Stergo met the victim, whom authorities have never publicly identified, on a dating website and asked for money that she said was needed to help get funds from a legal settlement, according to court documents.

She then told a series of more lies, fabricating stories that she needed money to gain access to a TD Bank account or else she would never be able to repay the victim, prosecutors said.

Stergo also sent heartless text messages, the U.S. attorney’s office for Southern New York said in a statement.

Stergo called the scam her “business” and told her real lover in a text that the elderly man said he loved her; she added “lol” to that message, the prosecutor’s office said. She also remarked that he had become “broke.”

Stergo was sentenced to 51 months in prison, or four years and three months, the prosecutor’s office said. She was also ordered to pay $2.8 million in restitution.

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