Courts find ‘love scam’ victims guilty of money laundering offences | News | #daitngscams | #lovescams

In the very similar cases, two women received large amounts of money from the accounts of other women, and transferred the sums to accounts held abroad.

File photo. Image: Yle

Two district courts in different parts of Finland have handled very similar cases over the past week, where the victims of so-called ‘love scams’ have faced money laundering charges.

In both cases, the defendants accepted and forwarded large sums of money within a very short period of time.

On Monday, Päijät-Häme District Court sentenced a 68-year-old woman to a suspended three month prison sentence for negligent money laundering.

The defendant in this case met a man — who identified himself as Colin Allen Am — via the dating app Tinder in spring 2019. According to her own account, the woman tried to help the man by agreeing to receive a package, paying customs duties and transferring money.

The man gave instructions, which the woman followed.

This led to her receiving money from another Finnish woman’s account, which the man explained was the payment of a loan he had received.

The sum — totalling nearly 52,000 euros — was transferred to the woman’s account via four different bank transfers, all in the name of the same Finnish woman. The defendant then transferred each of the payments from her own account onto Romanian and German bank accounts. She also kept about 200 euros from the money that passed through her account.

The prosecutor in the case told the court that the funds were the product of another scam, where a man had used various pretexts to deceive his Finnish victim into transferring money from her account.

The woman denied having committed any crime, claiming that she herself had been the victim of a so-called “betrayal of love”.

Although the court dismissed the charges of intentional money laundering, the verdict found her guilty of negligent money laundering as the court noted she had been suspicious of the man’s true intentions as well as the transferring of such large sums of money.

Similar case in Kuopio

Last Friday, in a notably similar case, the District Court of North Savo found a 57-year-old woman guilty of aggravated money laundering.

In this case, the defendant received a total of just under 71,000 euros into her accounts between 2018 and 2019 from another Finnish woman who had been the victim of a scam.

She then forwarded the money to accounts held in Nigeria and South Africa based on the instructions she had received.

The woman also denied committing any crime, and told the court she had made efforts to confirm that the person asking for the money was indeed genuine.

In its ruling, the court found that the defendant should have understood that the money was likely to have been obtained illegally and handed down a one-year suspended prison sentence as well as ordering her to pay damages to the victim of the original scam.

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