- Super User
- Category: Buzzing Moments
- Sunday, 02 November 2014 21:24
Ghanaian fraudster jailed for scamming lonely British women of £800,000...
A Ghanaian fraudster who posed as an American major general to swindle thousands of pounds from lonely British women he met through online dating sites has been jailed.
Maurice Asola Fadola charmed vulnerable lonely women during his 'Rom Con' scam, sending flowers on their birthdays and bombarding them with flattering messages and poetry.
But he would soon claim to be in some sort of financial difficulty and ask the often widowed pensioners to send cash his way - which he used to pay for a lavish gold-plated mansion in his home country.
The conman, believed to be in his 40s, has now been unmasked as one of the world's most prolific online dating fraudsters as his callous crimes left some victims penniless and even HOMELESS.
At least 19 British victims were spun an elaborate web of lies as Fadola used pictures of US Army servicemen plundered from the web to claim he was serving in Iraq and needed cash for emergency medical treatment, customs charges or even to buy his way out of the army.
In all, he is believed to have conned 19 British victims out of around £800,000.
After almost three years of heartache and accusations, Fadola has now been sentenced in his native country to five years in prison and ordered to repay his victims in full.
One victim, 71-year-old grandmother Katherine Clark from Southsea, Hampshire, travelled to Ghana to give evidence against Fadola.
She had lost her husband 30 years previously and was charmed by the conman, who this time claimed to be a British builder named Bruce living in London.
Speaking to Sky News in 2011, she said: "He made feel great, he made me feel wanted and that he was genuine. It was a nice feeling."
Fadola soon told Ms Clark he was moving to Ghana and encouraged her to send money to him to invest in a mining company.
She even travelled to the West African country at one point to meet 'Bruce' and encountered Fadola - who was pretending to be Bruce's driver.
He took her to Fadola's luxury marble-clad mansion, showed her a case of gold to prove the investment was genuine and then said Bruce was in prison and needed her money for bail.
On another occasion, 57-year-old widow Dena White, of East Yorkshire, lost her home after she re-mortgaged her property and used £50,000 of her savings to help 'Steve Moon' in a legal dispute over the impounding of his war medals.
Fadola - posing as Moon - said he couldn't access his own cash because he was serving in Iraq.
The pair chatted through a dating website for hours each day.
Speaking to the Daily Mail after he was unmasked, she said: "Of course I was wary but everything he told me seemed to check out.
"He'd send me poetry. It sounds silly now but we were in love."
Fadola was snared when he tried to obtain a British visa which disclosed his true identity to the National Crime Agency, who were investigating a case where a disabled woman had been persuaded to sell her house and send funds to Ghana.
He is believed to have targeted women across Britain, France, Sweden, Italy and the US and was found guilty of more than 20 offences stemming from his 2012 trial.