A fraudster who started on romance scams then moved to bank fraud and money laundering has been jailed for four years.
Prince Rodriguez, 23, of Hackney, was initially identified as being involved in a number of ‘romance scams’.
A further investigation then revealed he moved on to committing fraud against a number of banks.
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These included submitting counterfeit loan applications and contacting the bank to dispute transactions on accounts under his control in order to receive significant refunds.
He was also money laundering through accounts he controlled.
The fraud was spotted by the bank and referred to the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a specialist police unit sponsored by the banking and finance industry that investigates the criminals responsible for fraud.
Officers executed a warrant at his home address and seized several of his mobile devices on which evidence linking him to the frauds was found.
He was also found to be in breach of a restraining order placed against him by the courts.
On November 12 he was sentenced at the Old Bailey after pleading guilty to committing six counts of fraud, two counts of money laundering and breaching a restraining order.
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Rodriguez was sentenced to four years in prison.
The money was retrieved by the bank and all victims were fully refunded.
Fiona Roope, Detective Constable of the DCPCU, commented: “Rodriguez callously targeted people with romance scams and committed numerous frauds against the banks.
“Fortunately we were able to identify this criminal and bring him to justice, after working closely with the banking sector.
“We would urge the public to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign – always avoid sending money to someone you’ve never met in person, particularly if you have only recently met online.”
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