Man charged in $2M online dating scheme allegedly posed as soldier | #lovescams | #military | #datingscams

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Millville man was arrested Wednesday on charges that he defrauded more than 30 people of $2.1 million in an elaborate online dating scheme where he and conspirators acted as United States military members attempting to ship gold bars home.

Rubbin Sarpong, 35, was to appear before Judge Joel Schneider in Camden federal court Wednesday on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

The following details from this case were taken from court documents and statements:

From January 2016 to September 2019, Sarpong and several conspirators — many who reside in Ghana — reportedly set up profiles on various dating websites using fake or stolen identities posing as United States military personnel stationed overseas.

“They contacted victims through the dating websites and then pretended to strike up a romantic relationship with them, wooing them with words of love,” according to the criminal complaint.

After starting a relationship with the victims, Sarpong and his conspirators would ask them for money, authorities claim, often for the claimed purpose of paying to ship nonexistent gold bars to the United States.

The most common story used by Sarpong and his conspirators was that they were military personnel stationed in Syria who were awarded gold bars. The conspirators told many of the victims their money would be reimbursed once the gold bars arrived in the United States. 

In one case, a conspirator claimed he was a U.S. solider stationed in Syria who had recovered gold bars worth $12 million and needed help bringing them over. He sent her a fictitious airway bill showing that two trunks with “family treasure” would be sent to her, along with a fake United Nations Identity Card that identified him as an Israeli citizen and UN delivery agent.

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