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Posted on: January 14, 2021

Ashburn Man Charged with Money Laundering, Fraud in Online Romance Scam

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Loudoun County, VA (January 14, 2021) – An Ashburn man was arrested Wednesday and charged for his involvement with an online scam often referred to as a romance scam.

The suspect, William D. Gladden, 63, was charged with three counts of money laundering and three counts of obtaining money by false pretenses in the scheme. The investigation conducted by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Financial Crimes Unit determined Gladden received monies from the scam and acted as a money launderer transferring the monies overseas.

In the case, a 60-year-old victim from Nebraska reported she met someone through an online dating site. The person or persons she was conversing with are believed to be outside the United States. During their conversations she was asked to provide money to help with a business they were starting, and even showed her a website associated with the start-up business.  The website has since been taken down. 

In October 2020, the LCSO was contacted by the victim and it was determined she was sending the monies to Gladden in Loudoun County, Virginia. A search warrant was conducted at his home on January 13 and he was subsequently arrested. Detectives are continuing to investigate the case and identify other potential victims and connections to overseas perpetrators. 

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents to be wary of sending money to someone you never met in person via a wire transfer, pre-paid money cards, cryptocurrency, handwritten checks, or money apps.

Gladden is being held on no bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.   

                  Online Scams

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