A Florida woman drained an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor’s life savings to fund her luxurious lifestyle, prosecutors said Friday. 

Peaches Stergo, 36, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with the years-long romance scam, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. She defrauded the victim of more than $2.8 billion between 2017 and late 2021.

“This conduct is sick – and sad,” Williams said. “Using the millions in fraud proceeds, Stergo lived a life of luxury, purchasing a home in a gated community and a Corvette, taking vacations at hotels like the Ritz Carlton, and buying thousands in designer clothing, while at the same time causing her elderly victim to lose his apartment.”

The unnamed victim had been looking for companionship and he met Stergo on a dating website. 

She first asked him for money in early 2017, prosecutors said. Stergo claimed she needed the money to pay her lawyer. She said he was refusing to release funds from an injury settlement. 

The first check was for $25,000, according to the indictment. After that, the Holocaust survivor sent Stergo about $50,000 a month. In total, he wrote out 62 checks for Stergo. She told the man if he didn’t send her money, her accounts would be frozen and he would never be paid back. 

He continued sending her money until October of 2021, when he confided in his son about the situation, authorities said. The victim’s son told his dad he’d been scammed.

During the scam, Stergo made a fake email account designed to look as if it belonged to a TD Bank employee, prosecutors said. She created fake invoices and fake letters from the bank. 

The Florida woman used the money to buy a home in a gated community, a condominium, a boat and numerous cars. She also bought gold coins and bars, jewelry, Rolex watches, and designer clothing.

Stergo is set to be sentenced on July 27. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years.