ST. LOUIS – An 83-year-old St. Louis County woman appeared in federal court Wednesday to admit participating in several romance and work-at-home scams and has agreed to repay the victims.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Sharon Nickl signed a civil consent decree admitting her role.

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Between Sept. 21, 2020 and May 20, 2021, Nickl received deliveries of more than $690,000 from people she didn’t know via the U.S. Postal Service and commercial delivery companies. That money had been sent from victims who believed they were assisting their online lovers or had been hired to work from home.

Nickl began participating in the scams after emptying her bank accounts as a victim of a romance fraud scheme. She became a “money mule” by transferring money she received to a person she believed to be her own online paramour via Bitcoin and by purchasing gift cards and prepaid debit cards.

Nickl was not criminally charged and she agreed to repay $95,350 to seven victims.