The search for love on the internet landed one naïve man behind bars.
Jeffrey Plimpton of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, had just separated with his wife of 25 years when he purportedly met someone he thought was a woman on the internet. Thus began an online romance, which turned out to be just another overseas scam.
The supposed girlfriend – or whoever was on the other end of the ether – conned the 59-year-old to send her vast amount of money. Plimpton thought he was investing in a foreign business.
The man reportedly stole $1.4 million from a fragrance business called Alpha Aromatics and its subsidiary, Pestco Professional Services. He worked as controller for both of the small companies and oversaw their finances.
The reports claim Plimpton had already stolen about $80,000 to pay his mortgage and credit card bills when he met thewoman online. He thought he could earn money through the overseas business venture and repay Alpha, but sadly, all the money is now gone.
Earlier this year in August, after an internal accounting review and an FBI investigation, he pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
“It's something beyond naive,”public defender Linda Cohn told U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer, adding Plimpton was very vulnerable after his divorce. “Mr. Plimpton fully acknowledges what he did was illegal, and he's ashamed. He is willing to and wants to pay this restitution back.”
Although Alpha's insurers has covered more than $700,000 of the stolen amount stolen, Plimpton has been ordered to repay the entire amount – a small fraction of which he has repaid by selling his house.
“This is the darkest and saddest day of my life,” he said in the courtroom, apologizing to his former employers, colleagues and the family members he hurt. “I lost a lot of good friends.”
As the ABC News reports, Plimpton wired some of the money to Malaysia but authorities have been unable to track it down.
The court sentenced him to serve two years in prison.