Hornchurch fraudster jailed for £1.6m online dating scam

Ife Ojo and Olusegun Agbaje

Ife Ojo and Olusegun Agbaje - Credit: Archant

Two fraudsters who conned a woman out of £1.6million through an online dating scam have today been jailed.

Olusegun Agbaje, 43, of Kershaw Close, Hornchurch and his partner in crime Ife Ojo, 31, used fictional man Christian Anderson to persuade the victim, a Hillingdon woman in her 40s, to part with huge sums of cash.

Admin assistant Agbaje and Ojo, a student from Peterborough, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud in August.

Appearing at Basildon Crown Court today, Ojo was jailed for 34 months and Agbaje for 32 months.

The victim met fictitious Anderson online in February 2014, and a man claiming to be Anderson in person a few weeks later. He told her he was a divorced engineer and father.

Weeks later he told her he loved her and persuaded her to transfer £30,000 to his supposed assistant Brandon Platt so he could return from a project in Africa and be with her.

The payments continued between March and December 2014 and the victim even travelled to Amsterdam to meet someone claiming to be Anderson’s lawyer in a scam she was told would free up some inheritance money.

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After she realised she was being conned, the victim reported the fraud to police in January last year. They identified Agbaje as one of the recipients of the victim’s money and went to his home where they found him with Ojo.

At Ojo’s home, they found a laptop containing records of the victim’s conversation with Anderson, a memento book seemingly sent to Anderson by another victim and a copy of famous pick-up guide book The Game by Neil Strauss.

Detectives are continuing their inquiries as they try to identify other victims and find other members of the gang, including the man who pretended to be Anderson.

Det Ch Insp Gary Miles, of Falcon the Met’s fraud team, said: “Today’s sentencing recognises the devastating impact this kind of fraud has on its victims. I would like to pay tribute to the victim in this case who provided evidence which was crucial in securing two guilty pleas in this case.

“The financial and emotional impact to the victim has been huge.”