Nigerian Man Pleads Guilty To Two Counts Of Romance Fraud
A Nigerian national has pleaded guilty to two counts of so-called romance fraud, and faces a lengthy jail sentence, while police have urged any other potential victims to come forward and report it. Robinson Agbonifoayetan, of Welling, posed as a US Army General and befriended two women over Skype before persuading them that he wanted to marry them and that he had received more than $8m from a family whose lives he said he had saved in Afghanistan.
One woman gave the conman £300,000 of life savings before becoming suspicious and informing the police. Further investigation at the man’s home led to the discovery of a second victim who had given him more than £20,000 in order to help him transfer the funds and move over to the UK.
Agbonifoayetan first contacted a woman in Ealing by Skype. She had not been expecting the communication, but the two struck up a conversation, and after a few days of compliments and sob stories, Agbonifoayetan convinced the woman that he wanted to marry her and move to the UK to be with her. He also said that he had been given a large sum of money, totalling more than $8m by a family in Afghanistan whose lives he had saved.
The woman then mortgaged her home and dipped into life savings to the tune of £300,000; money which was primarily sent by Agbonifoayetan to Ghana and Nigeria. When the woman became suspicious, she reported the incident to the police, who went to Agbonifoayetan’s house to investigate. They found a receipt book and details of a second woman who he had also ensnared in his romance fraud, and they found that she had handed over £22,000 to the man.
Police are attempting to recoup some of the cash for the women by applying for a compensation order, and they have also asked that anybody else that believes they have been contacted by the man, who posed as General James Krulak and General James Raul during communication with the two women, to come forward and report the incident to them.