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Man jailed for defrauding victims in ‘romance scams’

JAILED: Dare Adejugbe used online scams to defraud victims

A MAN has been jailed to five years for conning people out of over £320,000 by using a host of scams.

Dare Adejugbe, 41, a care worker in southeast London, pleaded guilty to two counts of acquiring criminal property and one count of transferring criminal property.

A Metropolitan Police investigation uncovered he had used a combination of “romance scams”, offers of employment, inheritance scams and “black money scams” to defraud his victims, who believed they were paying for various fees and flight tickets.

He also used the lure of the 2012 London Olympics to trick people out of money in paying for false accommodation.

Adejugbe emptied the accounts and then laundered the money.

One victim believed he was paying to secure his daughter’s education in London, but ended up losing more than £31,000.

Another woman was duped online into believing she had a multi-million dollar inheritance and paid £10,000 into Adejugbe’s account to get the make-believe inheritance.

The money he defrauded was accumulated between December 2011 to August 2012, with 29 separate payments made into his accounts.

Officers said a significant amount of the money was cheated from victims believing they were helping people with whom they were having an online relationship.

In September 2012, Adejugbe was arrested and questioned about the money being transferred in his account – he claimed he was running a business with relatives to help friends receive funds.

Detective superintendent Nick Downing, of the Specialist Crime and Operational Command, said: “This conviction and sentence of five years imprisonment of Dare Adejugbe sends a strong message to those people who believe that they can prey on the vulnerable whilst hiding in the shadows of the online world.

“Mr Adejugbe, along with others, used several methods to hook the victims, firstly using the guise of inheritance scams, asking victims to put that the money was for accommodation in and around the Olympic Stadium during the London 2012 Olympics to avoid suspicion by the banks, secondly the offer of a romantic relationship where funds were later requested.”

He added: “The victims were based in the USA and Slovenia, and sent substantial funds through bank accounts under Adejugbe's control. This type of ‘romance fraud’ is a challenge to investigate as the victims often don't wish to believe what the police are telling them.

“Through detailed and professional liaison with the victims and our overseas law enforcement partners, we were able to secure these convictions and place Mr Adejugbe behind bars.”

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