‘Romance scammer’ at Fort Liberty gets 3 years for taking money from widowers, divorcees | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

An ex-Fort Liberty soldier will serve more than three years in prison for a series of “romance scams” in which he impersonated online admirers and swindled widows, widowers and divorcees out of money.

U.S. District Court Judge James C. Dever III sentenced Sanda Frimpong, 33, to 40 months in federal time and required him to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars he collected over more than two years.

In one case, Frimpong posed online as “Catherine White” and persuaded a widower in New York to wire $7,400 to release inherited gold being held in Canada, according to his indictment.

In another, he assumed the name “Tom Tanner” and pursued a divorcee on an online dating site, eventually getting her to send $100,000 to help transfer gold and diamonds he said he could access. During these online exchanges, his indictment said, Frimpong offered to marry this victim.

“Romance scammers exploit our most vulnerable citizens, even our seniors and military veterans, sometimes leaving them financially and emotionally devastated,” U.S. Attorney Michael Easley said in a Thursday news release. “The fact that an Army service member was involved in romance scams while serving as a soldier is appalling.”

Frimpong pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering in September.

Along with the romance scams, his indictment said, Frimpong conspired to submit stolen identities to the federal government and collect unemployment benefits through the CARES Act, aimed at helping those harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He would receive debit cards in the name of people who had never met him or applied for help.

Though he remained on active duty until his arrest in 2023, Frimpong laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars through his various bank accounts in other states and through contacts in Ghana, Easley’s release said.

“Integrity is a core tenet of the armed forces,” said Christopher Dillard, special agent in charge at the Department of Defense’s Inspector General office, “and when service members choose to compromise their integrity for greed, it tarnishes the reputation of all others serving in uniform.”

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