Seeking the right partner to love is always tough and the likes of Rubbin Sarpong do not make it any easier.
Sarpong, 35, was born in Ghana but is a legal permanent U.S. resident. Federal authorities say the Millville, New Jersey man preyed on unsuspecting women and duped them of huge sums of money with the promise of sharing his affections with them despite having a wife and a daughter.
Sarpong faces 20 years in prison if convicted of using dating websites to swindle $2.1 million from 30 women aided by his crew in Ghana. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) finally tracked down Sarpong and arrested him on Wednesday.
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Curiously, for a man who displayed wads of cash, jewellery and fancy cars on his Instagram page, Sarpong, when charged in federal court with a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, asked a judge to assign him to a public defender. He claimed that he didn’t have enough money to pay for an attorney, according to CBS Philly.
A criminal complaint filed at the U.S. District Court of New Jersey on Tuesday said, for the last three years, Sarpong conspired with three other men from Ghana to trick 30 women into wiring him money through several bank accounts under false pretences, reports dailymail.co.uk
FBI agents said the group used fake or stolen identities and contacted their victims through dating websites, including Plenty of Fish, OurTime.com and Match.com, posing as U.S. military members stationed overseas in at least some instances.
As part of their scheme, the co-conspirators also created numerous email accounts and Voice over Internet Protocol (hereafter “VoIP”) phone numbers, which they used to communicate with victims.
Most of the money victims wired was sent to a bank account controlled by Sarpong. Of the 30 victims identified so far, 27 sent more than $823,000 to Sarpong, mainly by wiring money to his bank accounts. He transferred more than $454,000 to co-conspirators in Ghana.
Sarpong and his crew’s activities turned on a tragic gear when a woman whom one of the crew members professed love to was convinced to send an estimated $93,710 to two U.S. bank accounts between May 22, 2018, and June 12, 2018.
The woman was asked to do this on the premise that her lover’s overseas unit in Syria had been gifted a box of gold worth $12 million but needed funds to ferry them to the U.S.
Documents show that two days later when the love-struck lady went to the Baltimore/Washington International Airport and didn’t meet the supposed lover with the gold, she died on June 14, 2018, perhaps out of heartbreak and realizing she had been scammed.