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Friday, 5 December 2014

Manchester-Nigerian Man Jailed For Love Scam!




A conman who used a dating website to dupe four women into handing over almost £100,000 has been jailed.

Adewale Adewole lured women in with a bogus profile on Match.com, before plying them for cash and gifts.

The 31-year-old stole photos from the Facebook profile of unsuspecting Royal Marines commander Josh McGowan and claimed to be ‘Timmy Francis’ on the dating site - telling women he was a former member of the RAF and the army, with links to an orphanage called Hope House in Africa.

Nigerian-born Adewole, of Carrfield Avenue, Little Hulton, Salford, pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud, but claimed the mastermind behind the operation was former flatmate Samson Ajayi. Police have been unable to trace any person by that name.

Adewole now faces four-and-a-half years in prison.

Prosecuting, Louise Brandon told Manchester Crown Court the women were conned between 2011 and 2012 when they got in touch with “Timmy Francis”.

Adewole, posing as Francis, claimed he needed money for the orphanage. He said he couldn’t access his own funds and asked the women to transfer him cash, saying he would pay them back. He even made fake documents to convince them.

Money was spent on goods such as iPads and iPhones, as well as clothes. The women - one of whom was particularly vulnerable and ill - also bought him various gifts.

One victim handed over cash and gifts worth £45,000.


Adewale Adewole

Miss Brandon said that over time the women were led to believe they were in a relationship with him, but not one actually met him. When they became suspicious enough to stop sending money and making purchases, they never heard from him again.

Police traced the dating profile to Adewole, who was arrested at his former flat in The Polygon, Eccles.

There, officers discovered £4,500 under his bed, designer clothing, recording equipment and a glitter ball. They also found a digital camera purchased by one of the victims, which contained photographs of himself and his wife and children.

A SIM card was recovered, which contained the victims’ numbers and was registered as the number for the Hope House Foundation Orphanage on a fake website he had created.

Mitigating, Khadim Al’Hassan said Adewole played a ‘significant’, but not leading, role in the plot.

He added: “If he was the mastermind, would he be stupid enough to allow everything to come back to him? He doesn’t have the brains or wit.”

The father-of-three, who says he came to the UK to study in 2009, could now be deported.

Honorary Recorder of Manchester David Stockdale QC said Adewole did play a ‘leading’ role in the ‘sophisticated and systematic fraud’, regardless of other people’s involvement.

He said others were probably involved, but that Adewole was at the ‘heart of the enterprise’.

He added: “This was a conspiracy revolving around you. This was cynical exploitation of innocent women. The fraud you committed was despicable. Each woman was betrayed, each was humiliated. And each has spoken of the irrevocable financial loss she has suffered.”

Det Con Shaun Nicholls from GMP’s Volume Fraud Team said: “Adewole preyed on the vulnerability and kind-heartedness of the victims, who thought they were helping sick children in Nigeria, in order to obtain money and goods from them.

“He pocketed £65,000 from four innocent victims and made no attempt to repay the money, as he had falsely promised them.

“Through deceit and dishonesty, the victims were conned into believing they had entered into a loving relationship and had a future with Adewale Adewole, but instead they were taken advantage of and their trust was shattered.

“Hopefully following today’s sentence, the victims will know justice has been done and can move on with their lives.”


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