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Man gets 3 years for $1.2M online romance scam

A Texas man who was part of a romance scam that bilked a Missouri woman out of $1.2 million was sentenced to three years in federal prison and ordered to repay the money.

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Rotimi Oladimeji, 38, of Richardson, Texas, was sentenced one year after he pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis said in a news release.

How to recognize a scam on a dating site?

Oladimeji and two others spotted the victim on the “Silver Singles” online dating site, prosecutors said. Posing as a Belgian national who was a veterinarian and animal behaviorist living in St. Louis, they made plans to meet with her but never followed through.

The scammers claimed the man needed money because he was not being allowed to leave the United Arab Emirates, where he had gone for a business deal. Federal prosecutors said the victim lost nearly $1.2 million. Oladimeji had received about 20% of the money but is responsible for fully reimbursing the victim unless his two co-defendants pay back some of it, said U.S. Attorney’s office spokesperson Robert Patrick.

Oladimeji was born in Nigeria and could be deported after his release from prison, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Olumide Akrinmade and Adewale Adesanya also have pleaded guilty to federal charges. Akrinmade was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to repay $46,500. Adesanya was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to repay $1.5 million for various fraud schemes.

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