A Nigerian student in the United Kingdom has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges. According to BBC, the man had by the time of his arrest defrauded two women 250,000 euros by pretending to be an American Soldier serving in Afghanistan and in dire need of money to facilitate his leaving.
The 37 year-old man met his victims through online dating website Match.Com and used a photo of a soldier as his profile picture using the alias Captain Morgan Travis. The main victim of the scam was a Danish widow, he contacted 7 days after joining the site. The two begun having conversations on various platforms, the defendant however said he could not hold video conversations citing security risks in Afghanistan, which the victim believed.
The defendant late told the victim he can only arrange to see her, but she would have to help pay administration fee, which he promised to return. She sent 40,000 euros before being informed “Travis” had been arrested for money laundering. She also sent a further 211,euros before the bank stopped payments and informed the authorities. Even after discovering the real identity, she continued having a relationship with him, after he said he committed fraud because he owned Nigerian militants money and received death threats. He also defrauded a different victim 1,000 euros.
This incidents comes at the backdrop of the extradition of Nigerian nationals to the US, to face fraud charges after a 15 year internet scam ring. The six are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit identity theft, use of unauthorized account access devices, theft of U.S. government funds and conspiracy to commit money laundering.