A New Jersey man posed as a member of the United States military on dating websites to bilk more than 30 women out of $2 million, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Millville, was arrested Wednesday and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Sarpong and his alleged conspirators “met and wooed the victims” on online dating sites, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Sarpong ran his scam for nearly three years, telling over 30 women that he needed money to ship gold bars from overseas to the United States.
Sarpong and his alleged team of people, mostly based in Ghana, set up profiles on dating websites using made-up or stolen identities and posed as U.S. military personnel stationed overseas.
Romantic relationships would be started, mostly via email and text. Once Sarpong gained the women’s trust, he would ask them for money. Which he would often get.
The most common story given to these women, were that Sarpong was stationed in Syria and was awarded a slew of gold bars, which he had to ship back to the US. The women were promised their money back after the gold bars arrived in the United States.
The group of men were able to scam roughly 30 women out of $2.1 million over the course of three years, with Sarpong taking $800k for himself.
One person sent Sarpong $48,000, according to court documents, which showed that he also received $46,800 from another.
Sarpong has posted photographs of himself on Instagram posing with stacks of cash, luxury cars and expensive jewelry.
He could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted on the count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.