Two Years for Romance Fraudster Who Targeted 670 Women

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A romance scammer who targeted hundreds of women and persuaded some to give him thousands of pounds has been jailed for over two years.

Osagie Aigbonohan, 41, from Lagos, Nigeria, operated under the moniker “Tony Eden” from his flat in Abbey Wood, London.

He’s said to have targeted nearly 700 women, including one who was terminally ill and whom he continued to pursue even after she passed away.

Police who searched his property also found footwear he’d purchased linked to one of his victims.

Another was tricked into paying Aigbonohan £9500 in nine separate transfers after he sold her a line that he had been impoverished by paying for the funerals of several people who’d died in a machinery accident.

The money went into various accounts held under fake identities before being funneled back to Aigbonohan’s own account. At least eight other women are thought to have given him money, totaling an estimated £20,000.

He was sentenced to 28 months at Southwark Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to fraud and money laundering charges.

Police arrested Aigbonohan back in July 2021 and found he was living with a false driving license, having overstayed his visa in the UK for two years.

“Romance fraud is a particularly callous offense, involving exploitation of an individual’s emotional needs and caring qualities, to extract money from them. People should be particularly vigilant over the coming month as we head towards Valentine’s Day and more people seek a partner,” warned James Lewis of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

“Aigbonohan demonstrated a cynical disregard for his victims, grooming them with romantic promises before dishonestly persuading them to provide him with financial assistance.”

Action Fraud claimed last week that romance fraudsters conned their victims out of £92m between November 2020 and October 2021. Police warned that the period between Christmas Day and Valentine’s Day is the most dangerous for lonely hearts as scammers are out in force scouring the internet for victims

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