Two romance fraudsters who cheated a woman in Switzerland of £612k after pretending to be a London doctor who had a crush on her face eight years in prison
- Two roommates cheated on wife pretending to be a doctor in love
- James Olagbaiye and Adesola Adebayo, from Newham, East London, are jailed
- They have defrauded several women and a man totaling £674k, a court heard
Two roommates who defrauded a £612,000 woman by posing as a doctor in love as part of an online romance fraud scheme have been jailed.
James Olagbaiye and Adesola Adebayo, both from Newham, east London, were part of an international organized crime group based in the UK and Nigeria and have defrauded multiple women and a man out of a total of £674,000, a court heard.
Five victims in the US, Switzerland and various parts of the UK were identified during the investigation, including a woman who believed her online romance was with a British doctor living in London.
On Friday, Olagbaiye was sentenced to four years and four months in prison at Southwark Crown Court after the 47-year-old pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
His 38-year-old roommate, Adebayo, was sentenced to four years and six months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, false representation fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
The court heard that both men were part of an international organized crime group that defrauded victims by entering into romantic relationships with them.
Adesola Adebayo, of Newham, east London, was sentenced to four years and six months in prison after pleading guilty to money laundering conspiracy, false representation fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud
His flatmate James Olagbaiye was sentenced to four years and four months in prison at Southwark Crown Court after the 47-year-old pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
A victim in his sixties, from Switzerland, lost the equivalent of £612,000. She believed her online romance was with a British doctor and biologist living in London.
As part of the ruse, the scammers sent her a photo of a fake British passport with the photo of an elderly gentleman on it.
The ‘doctor’ claimed to have manufactured ventilation machines for the NHS to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic and sought the victim’s money as a loan for this venture.
The ‘loan’ was then deposited into various money mule bank accounts in the UK and US under the control of the defendants.
The fake doctor also claimed he had been arrested abroad and needed further financial support, all part of the ruse.
This victim only realized she had been scammed after being contacted by detectives after the two men were arrested.
The team identified another female victim from the US, a man and two women from the UK and the fraud was discovered after the arrest of another man in August 2020.
Olagbaiye and Adebayo were arrested on October 29, 2020.
The pair were jailed at Southwark Crown Court on Friday (stock image) A confiscation inquiry will follow convictions, seeking assets in favor of repaying some of the losses to the victims
During their arrests, officers confiscated their cell phones and bank statements, enabling them to identify further victims.
Later examination of the evidence revealed that Adebayo had also provided a secure address of a trusted employee, who agreed to receive mail so that bank accounts could be opened for the purpose of falsely claiming Covid-19 Bounce Bank loans.
Adebayo attempted to claim £98,000 but was unsuccessful.
Detective Constable Chris Collins of the Met’s Crime Specialist said: “These men have spun a web of lies on their victims and abused their honest intentions in the most horrific way. I would ask anyone in an online relationship to think twice before meeting the demand for money, no matter how sincere and convincing their story is.”
A confiscation inquiry will follow convictions, seeking assets to return some of the losses to the victims.
If you suspect you have been the victim of fraud or if you think someone is trying to access your pension, call Action Fraud – 0300 123 2040.