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Two Ghanaian nationals to be sentenced for their role in scamming Virginia man out of over $500,000

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For the victim, a 78-year-old man from Annandale, it started with an effort to find some companionship. He created an account on a social network called iFlirt, then made contact with someone identifying herself as a widowed woman in her 30s who seemed interested.

As the online relationship grew, though, the scam started to emerge. The woman, who claimed to be from New York, said she was arrested while traveling to Germany to retrieve an inheritance of gold bars, and needed money to make bail. The man paid it, only to get another message that she was arrested a second time and needed even more money.

In the end, the Annandale man, who is not identified in court papers, got taken for well over $500,000, the latest victim in a growing trend known as romance fraud.

Romance scams reached a record high in 2021, increasing by nearly 80% from 2020, according to a report from the Federal Trade Commission. In the past five years, victims have lost more than $1.3 billion to such scams, the FTC said, more than any other category of fraud the agency tracks.

On Friday, two of the people who scammed the Annandale man will be sentenced in federal court in Alexandria. Ghanian nationals Linda Mbimadong and Richard Broni played relatively minor roles in the scam: Prosecutors describe them as “money mules” who never made contact with the victim themselves but helped receive and launder the money in return for a 5% to 10% cut of the proceeds.

Prosecutors estimate that the scheme targeted multiple victims and raked in more than $42 million, much of it going go Ghana, where the scam was headquartered.

In sentencing memos ahead of Friday’s hearing, Mbimadong and Broni, who were living in New York City at the time of their arrest, apologized for their actions.

“I have to express my ugly truth. I was selfish, ambitious and greedy for success,” Mbimadong wrote.

Jessica Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, is prosecuting the Annandale man’s case. She said large numbers of romance scams go unreported because victims are embarrassed that they fell for tales like the one the defendants in this case spun, around widowed royalty and inheritances of gold bullion. But she said the scammers are sophisticated and patient in their approach, building rapport with targets over a matter of months before making their move.

“These fraudsters know exactly how to play on people’s emotions,” Aber said in an interview. “They use third parties to try to validate the stories that are being spun.”

Authorities take it seriously when complaints are made, Aber said; her office has prosecuted multiple cases of romance fraud in recent years.

Scammers are based both domestically and internationally, she said. Sometimes fraudsters spin exotic tales of international intrigue; other times, the approach is more mundane.

Richard Dorpe, a Ghanaian national, portrayed himself as a balding 57-year-old white man from Virginia Beach named “Jerry Linus” on the “OurTime” senior dating website. He conned a 68-year-old widow from Chesapeake out of more than $300,000, as well as items including clothes, a computer and jewelry. When she ran out of cash, she took out a home equity loan.

Dorpe was sentenced to more than three years in prison last year by the federal court in Norfolk.

Aber encourages potential victims to contact law enforcement. She noted that the FBI has a website to report internet crimes, and does a good job of connecting the dots of disparate reports when they’re made.

“The best thing you can do is to report it so you can potentially stop some other person from falling victim to this kind of scheme,” she said.

Culled from ABCnews

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‘Go back and compensate your ex-wife’ – Don Little advises Lil Win

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Ghanaian actor and socialite, Don Little, has made a passionate appeal to his colleague Kwadwo Nkansah also known as Lilwin to go make peace with his ex-wife. (more…)

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Husband of late ‘Ekwueme’ singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu charged with homicide

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has taken legal actions against the husband of late gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu. (more…)

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WATCH: Darkua talks her start in music, Journey, creative process and more.

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From being the opening act at EL’s BAR VI concert to bagging a nomination at the 2022 3 Music Awards, Afrobeats/afro soul singer Darkua stopped by Ameyaw TV to talk about her musical journey. (more…)

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Rappers shy away from collabs because of unnecessary comparisons- Eno Barony

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Award-winning Ghanaian rapper, Eno Barony has blamed the lack of rapper-to-rapper collaborations on unnecessary comparisons.

The rapper, who has constantly shown her rapping prowess in a field dominated by men stated in a recent interview that rappers shy away from collaborations with other rappers.

“I’ve not really featured a lot of rappers because a lot of rappers kind of shy away from featuring their co rappers especially me being a girl,” she stated.

According to Eno, singers are able to collaborate freely without any chance of music listeners trying to pick who sang the best, however, same cannot be said for rappers.

“Most at times there is a comparison when it comes to rap but two singers can easily feature themselves on a song without being compared.

“Nobody cares they just jam to it but then when two rappers are on a project people tend to just compare the lyrics and stuff,” she explained.

She continued; “So it’s like you guys putting your lives down you may be slaughtered at any time but this one is a collaboration, not a battle,” Eno Barony told the host.

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Sandra Ababio caused our split, happy he didn’t marry her- Lilwin’s ex-wife

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Ex-wife of Kumawood actor Nkansah Lilwin, Patricia Afriyie has revealed she has no issues with the actor’s new wife, however, her woes are geared towards Sandra Ababio.

In an interview with Oheneba Media, Ms Patricia has stated that she has absolutely no problems with Lilwin’s new wife and she’s happy that the actor chose her to marry and not Sandra Ababio.

Sandra Ababio is also a Kumawood actress who was rumoured to have had an amorous relationship with the actor. Even though the two have denied their relationship on various occasions, Lilwin’s ex-wife, Patricia has confirmed that indeed there was something going on between Sandra and Lilwin.

Ms Patricia Afriyie alleges that, Sandra Ababio was the cause of their split and has dared the actress to deny the news.

“Lilwin started disrespecting me as soon as Sandra came into the picture. Lilwin told me I wasn’t Sandra’s class. I was shocked she wasn’t the one Lilwin ended up marrying,” she said in the interview.

“I saw her nude photos on Lil Win’s phone, that was when I believed what I was told that she was dating him,” she added.

Ms Patricia Afriyie has become the subject of the media following her ex-husband’s remarriage.

Over the weekend, Lilwin announced to the world that he had gotten married again to one Maame Serwah who is reportedly based in the Unites States.

Photos of the wedding went viral on social media and has since become a big topic with so many controversies surrounding Patricia’s marriage to the actor.

Watch interview below;

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I met Lilwin at 14, had our first child at age 15- Ex-wife reveals

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Ex-wife of Kumawood actor Nkansah Lilwin, Patricia Afriyie is revealing some details of she and the actors relationship before it ended.

Ms Patricia Afriyie has become the subject of the media following her ex-husband’s remarriage.

Over the weekend, Lilwin announced to the world that he had gotten married again to one Maame Serwah who is reportedly based in the Unites States.

Photos of the wedding went viral on social media and has since become a big topic with so many controversies surrounding Patricia’s marriage to the actor.

Detailing how she met Lilwin, Ms Patricia revealed that she met the actor when she was only 14 years old.

“I was 14 years when Lil Win and I started being intimate. He met me when I was 14 and we started dating. I was a class 6 student. I was in school till JHS 3 when I became pregnant. I was pregnant with my first child at that time,” she said.

She continued;

“Prior to that I got pregnant at age 14 and had a miscarriage. I gave birth to our firstborn at the age of 15. Then seven months later I got pregnant with the second born”.

Ms Patricia also revealed she met the actor at a time where he was struggling to make it as an actor.

“We’ve been through a lot of hurdles since I met him. There were times we had to soak and drink gari before going to bed. People even tried to advise me against him. They tried to stop me from dating him but I had hope that things will get better. I met him when he was an upcoming actor and a shoe seller,” she said in the interview.

Watch interview below;

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