A man who pleaded guilty to scamming women through dating apps has been sentenced to more than three years in prison, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Texas announced Monday.
Frederick Orji, 38, was among 11 people who were arrested and indicted last year following a federal investigation into a crime ring that targeted elderly women — many of whom were widowed or divorced — on dating apps. He pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the attorney’s office said in a news release.
His brother, Emanuel Orji, pleaded guilty to the same charge in September and will be sentenced in January, the release stated.
On Monday, Orji was sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay $413,030 in restitution to victims, according to the attorney’s office.
Orji and the others who participated in the scam operation used fake names on dating sites including Match.com and Bumble and made connections with women.
After making the connection, scammers would convince women and ask them for money, the release said. Scammers defrauded women out of tens of thousands of dollars at a time, according to the attorney’s office.
“In plea papers, Mr. Orji admitted that once he and his conspirators had depleted the victims’ accounts of all the funds they were willing and able to send, often emptying their entire savings, the defendants stopped communicating with the victims,” the release stated.
The trial for five people who were also indicted for involvement in the romance scam has been set for March.
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