Colorado Mother and Daughter Charged in Online Dating Scam With Fake Military Members


According to the attorney general's office, the two recruited family members of friends to participate. Tracy Vasseur allegedly used her then 16-year-old daughter to fraudulently receive stolen money and then wire it to Nigeria as part of the scam over a year because Western Union had restricted her access, according to the indictment.

The indictment stated the grand jury is aware of "one or more individuals residing in Nigeria" who were involved in the scam, "but is unable to affirmatively identify them at this time."

The Vasseurs established 20 personal and business bank accounts at 11 local banks for the purpose of laundering the stolen money.

The indictment summarizes racketeering charges against the Vasseurs, naming over a dozen of the victims. Some of the victims became suspicious but unsuccessfully demanded their money back.

One email message, from an associate who called himself Jack Campbell, instructed a victim in North Carolina to send money to "a military 'agent' named Tracy L. Vasseur in Brighton, Colorado." Campbell, who said he was a member of the military, told the victim he needed money for travel expenses and "to get some of his personal items through customs."

Between Nov. 9 and Dec. 31, 2010, that victim sent a total of ten wire transfers for a total of $24,200.

The email message to the victim from Nov. 9, 2010 stated:

"Darling the Department need you to call the money gram location so that the agent in charge can be able to pick up the fees darling [sic] they need you to do that now. Jacky."

None of the victims, "including 29 at-risk adults," that investigators spoke to had their money returned, the indictment stated.

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