WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Two people were indicted Tuesday in a two-year scheme that used fake dating website identities of women to lure and then rip off young Marines in North Carolina, officials say.
Jones Tyler Martin and Hailey Tykoski are charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wilmington said in a press release.
The pair worked together with one making fake profiles of women on dating websites — and the other person talking by phone or meeting with Camp Lejeune Marines to convince them to reveal personal identification and financial information, authorities say.
That information from the Marines was used by the suspects to make money wire transfers and to obtain credit in victims’ names, officials said.
“From approximately 2013 to May 2015, Martin created fake female identities on internet dating websites for the purpose of defrauding young enlisted male Marines into on-line relationships,” the U.S. Attorney said.
“Tykoski would use the fake female identities to communicate with some of the Marines by telephone and in person,” officials said in an email titled ‘Two Indicted for Conspiracy, Wire Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft for Targeting Young Marines.’
Tykoski was arrested in Michigan and has an initial appearance scheduled for November 29, in Wilmington. Martin was arrested in New Mexico and has an initial appearance scheduled for Tuesday in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 30 years imprisonment on each conspiracy and wire fraud count. They also face two years consecutive imprisonment on each aggravated identity theft count.
The case is being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Field Office Carolinas, Camp Lejeune, N.C.