27 year old Nigerian man, Tosin Olasemo has been sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison by a UK court after he was found guilty of using the photo of a US soldier fighting in Afghanistan to dupe two white women he met on a dating site of £250,000.
Tosin, who lives in Cardiff, UK, set up a profile on match.com using the photo of an unidentified US soldier in uniform, to trick his victims into believing he was serving in Afghanistan. He called himself Captain Morgan Travis to his first victim, and Michael Travis to his second victim and claimed to be based at Camp Joyce but he was actually living in Moira Street in the Adamsdown area of Cardiff.
During online conversations with his first victim, 47-year-old widow Tine Jorgensen, Tosin could see her via her webcam but he refused to show his own face, saying he was not allowed to show his own face because of security issues in Afghanistan, an explanation which looked genuine and acceptable.
Tosin then demanded various sums of money from Ms Jorgensen, including money for administration fees and other costs to facilitate his leave so he could come see her. Tosin, while using his real account name and photo, later contacted Ms Jorgensen to claim Morgan Travis had been arrested, persuading her to hand over almost £212,000 more to try and secure his release.
Speaking on his demand for money, prosecutor Ruth Smith said:
“They were designed to play on her emotional feelings for Morgan Travis, saying if the money wasn’t paid he would spend one and a half years in detention.”
However, police in Denmark soon informed her she had been a victim of a crime. The prosecutor said that confronted with this news by Ms Jorgensen, Tosin then claimed to be living in Lagos, Nigeria and had borrowed money from militants in Nigeria whom he could not now repay.
The prosecutor said: “Unfortunately Ms Jorgensen still felt an attachment to the defendant and believed his explanation. But her suspicions grew and she eventually reported him to South Wales Police, who arrested him in Adamsdown on January 28 this year.”
Officers recovered a number of false documents, including Nigerian identity cards and drivers licences under various names at his home in Cardiff. The prosecutor continued
“The defendant tried to damage his laptop computer by throwing it on the floor and stamping on it, but was prevented from doing so by police officers at the premises. The defendant had numerous documents on (his) equipment referring to how to speak to women and gain their confidence.”.
On his second victim, Polish divorcee Joanna Kosz-Strusiewicz, he initially persuaded her to part with £1,100.
“He continued to make demands for money from her and she decided to make investigations of her own. She found information which led to her believing she had been cheated and wrote to the defendant.”
Tosin pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud, four counts of possession of false identity documents, three counts of possession of articles for use in fraud and a single count of acquiring criminal property. He was sentenced to 4 and a half years in jail today July 15th.
The court also added that Tosin whose UK visa will soon expire may be deported.