Two members of the online dating site Match.com have been convicted at Winchester Crown Court for scamming nearly £250,000 (€312,000) out of 12 women on the site.
Peter Monty Emu, 28, of Portsmouth, and Adewunmi Nusi, 27, of Hermitage, Berkshire, who were convicted of money laundering, joined the site with the fictional name of ‘James Richards’.
The profile of the attractive, middle-aged man attracted women to befriend him. Women were flattered by the messages, one of whom said: “I knew our friendship would grow from the first day we spoke but neither one of us could imagine the love exploding, no thundering into our hearts.”
As the relationship developed, the fictional man told the women that he needed money to release a £1 million (€1.25 million) inheritance, left to him by his father in India.
Detective Constable Darrin Carey, of Hampshire Constabulary, said: “The women were duped into thinking that they were talking to a man who was genuinely looking for love on the dating website match.com. Unfortunately for them, they were part of an elaborate scam.”
One victim handed over £174,000 (€217,000). The two men along with two others, who admitted the same charge, are due to be sentenced next month. The Crown Prosecution Service will also apply for the ‘ill-gotten’ money to be confiscated.