A New Jersey man admitted that he orchestrated an online scam that conned dozens of unsuspecting women on dating sites out of more than a million dollars – and led one of them to suicide.
Rubbin Sarpong, 37, of Millville pocketed the money and bought property in Ghana, along with luxury cars, expensive jewelry, top-shelf booze, designer clothes and more, federal authorities said.
Then he flaunted it on Instagram.
Sarpong had catfishing accomplices, several of whom live in Ghana, Acting U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Rachael Honig said.
Posing as American military personnel stationed overseas, the cyber-Casanovas reeled in their victims on Plenty of Fish, OurTime.com and Match.com, among other dating sites, the U.S. attorney said.
They “pretended to strike up a romantic relationship…wooing them with words of love,” an FBI complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Camden says.
After fanning the virtual flames, they hit the victims up for money, claiming they needed it to “ship gold bars to the United States,” Honig said.
They promised the woman that their dough “would be returned once the gold bars were received,” she said.
At least 40 woman wired money to 13 bank accounts controlled by Sarpong, some of which were in the names of friends, relatives and even a fictitious business entity called Rubbin Sarpong Autosales, according to the FBI complaint.
One of the victims sent $93,710, it says. She killed herself two days…