Romance Deception: Finding Love in the Wrong Way Proves Price | Richmond Independent Newspaper

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The victim, a 78 -year -old man from Annandale, began by trying to find a partner. She created an account on a social networking site called iFlirt, and then met someone who identified herself as a widow in her late 30s.

As the network grew, even the scam started to emerge. The woman, who said she was from New York, said she had been arrested while traveling to Germany to get an inheritance of gold boxes, and she wanted the money to secure them. The man was paid, because he received another letter he was arrested a second time and needed more money.

In the end, the Annandale man, who was not seen in the court papers, was taken for more than $ 500,000, who was again affected by a growth process called the deceptive romance.

Romance scams have reached a record high in 2021, rising about 80 percent from 2020, according to a report from the Federal Trade Commission. In the past five years, victims have lost more than $ 1.3 billion to those scams, the FTC said, more than any other piece of corporate fraud.

Two of those who deceived the Annandale man were sentenced to be sentenced Feb. 18 at the federal court in Alexandria. Ghanaians Linda Mbimadong and Richard Broni played small roles in the scam. The plaintiffs described them as “money mules” who did not associate with the victim themselves but assisted in obtaining and laundering the money for a 5 to 10 percent cut. to earn.

Plaintiffs believe the scam cost many people and raised more than $ 42 million, most of which went to Ghana, where the scam took place.

In memos prior to sentencing, Ms. pardoned. Mbimadong and Mr. Broni, who was living in New York at the time of their arrest.

“I have to show my bad sincerity. I’m serious, passionate about success,” Ms. Wrote wrote. Mbimadong.

Jessica Aber, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, is prosecuting the Annandale man’s case. He said many of the love lies were not disclosed because the defendants were ashamed of the stories, such as those of the defendants in this case, about widowed princesses. and heirs of gold bullion. But he said scammers are smart and patient as they move, building a relationship with targets a month before they move.

“These scammers really know how to play on people’s opinions,” Ms. Cunningham said. Aber in an interview. “They use three pages to try to validate the stories that are being twisted.”

The authorities are very sensitive when it comes to prosecution, said Ms. But. His office has prosecuted several cases of love fraud in recent years.

Scammers are established at home and in the world, he said. Sometimes, deceivers twist different stories of world deception; at other times, it is easier to approach.

Richard Dorpe, a Ghanaian, described himself as a 57 -year -old white man from the Virginia coast as “Jerry Linus” on “OurTime”. He arrested a 68 -year -old widow from the Chesapeake for more than $ 300,000, as well as items with clothes, a computer and jewelry. When he ran out of money, he took out a home equity loan.

Mr. was punished. Dorpe spent more than three years in prison last year by federal court.

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