Former Fort Liberty soldier headed to prison for romance scams totaling over $350,000 | #datingscams | #lovescams

Former U.S. soldier Sanda Frimpong was sentenced to over three years in federal prison for orchestrating romance scams that totaled more than $350,000. Frimpong operated the scams while stationed at Fort Liberty, N.C., the renamed Fort Bragg. (Corey Dickstein/Stars and Stripes)

An Army veteran will spend more than three years in prison for conning divorcees, widows and widowers out of money through an elaborate series of “romance scams.”

Sanda Frimpong, 33, was sentenced earlier this month in federal court in Raleigh, N.C., after pleading guilty in September to three counts of money laundering.

He was also ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution for the con jobs, which ran for more than two years while he was stationed at Fort Liberty, N.C.

Frimong laundered an estimated $357,961 through his romance scams, an amount he’s now liable for as a result of his guilty pleas, according to sentencing documents.

Originally from Ghana, Frimpong became a naturalized U.S. citizen in late 2018. He held the rank of specialist and was on active duty until shortly after his arrest in 2023.

His victims included a widower from New York. Frimpong posed online as Catherine White and persuaded the man to wire $7,400 on the pretext of releasing gold from his deceased father being held in Canada, according to his February 2023 indictment.

Frimpong sent the widower photographs of the purported gold bars and a woman in handcuffs, and a counterfeit Canada Border Services Agency document.

He also pursued a divorcee on an online dating site, assuming the name Tom Tanner. He claimed that he was recently divorced and from Illinois but deployed with the Army in Afghanistan.

He asked the woman to marry him and persuaded her to send more than $100,000 to help him transfer gold and diamonds, according to his indictment.

A police photo shows Sanda Frimpong following his arrest in March 2023.

A police photo shows Sanda Frimpong following his arrest in March 2023. (Sampson County, N.C.)

Frimpong wired the stolen money from his Navy Federal Credit Union account to an auto dealership in Ghana and to his sister, who was living in the western African country, his indictment said.

Separately, Frimpong and others conspired to fraudulently collect unemployment benefits from a fund set up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He submitted stolen identities to the federal government and received debit cards in the names of people he didn’t know or who had applied for help, including at least one deceased person.

He also applied for unemployment benefits from at least 11 states, from Maine to California.

His illegal schemes began around December 2019 and continued until approximately February 2022, according to the Justice Department.

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