A Ghanaian national has received a 40-month prison sentence in the United States after defrauding a 68-year old woman out of over $300,000.
Richard Yaw Dorpe, 38, carried out the infamous ‘romance fraud’ scam on the old lady after meeting her over the web on a U.S dating site.
They met on the site ‘OurTime’, an online dating site for elderly people.
Dorpe pretended to be a single, 57-year-old man from Virginia Beach who was travelling abroad to buy gold and other jewellery before returning home.
The victim, a recently widowed woman, struck up an online romantic relationship with him.
Between August 2016 and January 2017, Dorpe through his online persona managed to convince his ‘sweetheart to send him several items including a cash sum of $300.000.
Other items he managed to scam out of her included clothes, jewellery, a computer, and a watch.
The victim reported the matter to the FBI once she realised she was being scammed.
Thrugh collaborative efforts with the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), the Ghana Police Service, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the National Security Agency and the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Office, Dorpe was identified and tracked down.
He was later extradited to the U.S to stand trial, where he pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was convicted on his own plea.
“The defendant repeatedly and shamelessly defrauded a recently widowed victim through a variety of manipulative tactics, leaving her in financial ruins,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
“As this case demonstrates, reporting these scams to law enforcement helps us uncover the fraud schemes and bring scammers, like this defendant, to justice.”
Announcing the conviction in a press release, the Justice Department further credited the FBI Legal Attaché Office, the DEA Country Liaison, the Regional Security Office, staff at the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana and the (US) Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs for their help in the case.