Four Nigerians Monty Emu, Adewunmi Nusi, Emmanuel Oko, and Chukwuka Ugw have bagged 14 years in jail after they were caught duping single women who were in search for love on a dating website scam.
The victims were duped after they responded to the false profile of an "attractive middle-aged man" on match.com which sent messages, e-mails and texts of love and "overblown affection". They then fell for the conman's story that he was due to receive a £100 million inheritance from his father but that it was tied up by red tape in India.
Once the relationship had developed with the fake man, normally called James Richards, the conspirators started requesting cash.
At first the women were asked for a £700 legal fee by a fake solicitor but then the sums requested rose to up to £100,000, Winchester Crown Court heard.
The trial was told that vulnerable women were conned out of £220,000, with one victim, Suzanne Hardman, handing over £174,000. Some realised it was a scam and did not hand over any cash.
Adewunmi Nusi and victim Suzanne Hardman
Following a three-week trial, Monty Emu, 28, of Frencham Road, Southsea, Hampshire, and Adewunmi Nusi, 37, of Bomford Close, Hermitage, Berkshire, were convicted of money laundering.
At the start of the trial, Emmanuel Oko, 30, of Waverley Grove, Southsea, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and money laundering and Chukwuka Ugwu, 29, of Somers Road, Southsea, admitted money laundering.
Oko, who was said by the judge to be at the centre of the conspiracy, was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment for the fraud and four years to run concurrently for the money laundering offence.
Emu, who laundered about £55,000 during nine months, was jailed for three and a half years, Ugwu was jailed for 46 weeks and Nusi was imprisoned for 18 months. Sentencing the four men, Judge Susan Evans QC said: "This was a highly sophisticated conspiracy to defraud, it preyed on the trusting, the lonely and the emotionally vulnerable.
Culled from UK Mirror