JAILED: Patrick Bomboi Emuh
A CONMAN who convinced people they had received windfalls, then charged them fees of almost £800,000 to obtain the non-existent money, has been sentenced to six years imprisonment.
Patrick Bomboi Emuh, 54, was handed the sentence at Southwark Crown Court yesterday (Jan 9) after the court heard how he cold-called and emailed at least 20 people from around the world, telling them they had won a lottery or inherited money from a distant relative before tricking them into paying "advance fees", "taxes" and "handling charges" to obtain their fictitious winnings.
It was revealed that in some cases, a person pretending to be a lawyer contacted victims to "help" them claim the money, charging them more money for this service.
The victims, from the UK, USA, Germany, Chile, New Zealand, Australia and Romania were directed to pay the money into a variety of bank accounts or to Emuh by Western Union cash transfer.
Some of the victims from abroad were talked into travelling to the UK where they were met by people posing as businessmen. Several were shown banks notes that they were told were theirs but were contaminated. They were then instructed to pay money up front in order for the cash to be cleaned to "legitimise" it. This was just another ruse to extract more money from them.
Police have said that in total Emuh, who has been under investigation since 2006, took £788,297 from those he targeted.
The south Londoner originally tried to convince officers that he had a diesel oil business and that the victims were simply “customers in Nigeria”.
He was convicted of 19 counts of acquiring criminal property contrary to section 329(1)(a) of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Accredited financial investigator Doug Ferns, of the MPS's Specialist and Economic Crime Command led the investigation said: "This sentence is well deserved. Emuh span a convoluted and convincing web of lies to con victims, who he had no concern for, out of their money.
"We are determined to continue uncovering scams like this and seeing that the perpetrators receive the kind of sentence that Emuh has.
"If a stranger contacts you saying you have inherited money or won a lottery and must pay fees to access your windfall, do not believe it. Call the police."
For advice on these kinds of scams see www.actionfraud.police.uk.
If you think you have been a victim of a scam like this call police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Alternatively, report it online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.