Man Ordered To Pay Back Over £250,000

12 December 2016, 10:28 | Updated: 12 December 2016, 10:45

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A man who claimed to be an American solider serving in Afghanistan to defraud two women of more than £250,000 has been ordered to pay back the proceeds of his crime.

Tosin Femi Olasemo was living in Adamsdown, Cardiff, when he conducted online dating fraud.

The 38-year-old used a photograph of a man wearing full military uniform as his profile picture on the website and claimed he needed the money to arrange leave from the army.

Olasemo pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison at Cardiff Crown Court in July 2015.

Following his conviction, a Proceeds of Crime Act investigation took place which revealed that Olasemo had links to Nigerian bank accounts containing more than £150,000 and land purchased in Nigeria for around £47,000. In addition, he was found in possession of more than £1,100 when he was arrested.

A confiscation hearing took place at Cardiff Crown Court last week which found that Olasemo had a benefit from his crime totalling £253,347. The court ordered that £200,707 is repaid to his two victims who reside in Denmark. He also has three months to arrange the sale of the land in Nigeria to repay the remaining money. If he fails to satisfy the confiscation order then he will have to serve a further two and a half years in prison in default. At the conclusion of his sentence Olasemo will also be deported from the UK.

Detective Inspector Paul Giess, from the South Wales Police Economic Crime Unit (ECU), said:

“This case has demonstrated the dangers of providing personal details and sending money to strangers online. Fraudsters use a variety of tactics to con their victims, such as pretending to be in need of urgent medical attention or having been discharged from the armed services into a life of poverty.

The actions of Olasemo had a devastating impact on his victims and we hope that the pursuit of his assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act will provide some comfort to them.

As always, we would encourage those using dating sites or other internet forums to be vigilant. Never send money or provide personal details to strangers or to people you have only met online.”