On Tuesday, a Texas man found guilty of participating in a romance scam that defrauded a Missouri woman of $1.2 million was given a three-year federal prison sentence and forced to pay back the money.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis sent a news release stating that Rotimi Oladimeji, 38, of Richardson, Texas, was sentenced to one year in prison after entering a guilty plea to two counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
Prosecutors alleged that Oladimeji and two other people saw the victim on the “Silver Singles” internet dating service. They set up a meeting with the Belgian national, claiming to be a St. Louis-based veterinarian and animal behaviourist, but they never showed up.
The man went to the United Arab Emirates for a business arrangement, but the con artists said he was stuck there and needed money. According to federal prosecutors, the victim lost close to $1.2 million. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, Robert Patrick, stated that although Oladimeji had received only 20% of the money, he is still liable for paying the full amount to the victim unless his two co-defendants reimburse some of it.
Nigerian-born Oladimeji may be deported following his release from prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Adewale Adesanya and Olumide Akrinmade have also entered guilty pleas to federal charges. Akrinmade was given a 15-month prison sentence and a $46,500 repayment mandate. Adesanya was found guilty of numerous fraud schemes, received a four-year prison sentence, and was mandated to pay back $1.5 million.