Ghanaian authorities have successfully tried and convicted a seasoned con artist to five years in prison for defrauding his unsuspecting victims of at least £800,000, mostly elderly widows according to the UK’s Mirror.
Maurice Asola Fadola is reported to have successfully developed online relationships with mostly elderly European women, who fell for his charm before asking them to send him monies to support his business ventures or to bail him out of trouble.
He is said to have employed different personalities in describing himself to victims, a popular one being that he was a high ranking Ghanaian military officer who would eventually need significant sums of money to advance his businesses, or to release suitcases filled with cash from his military deployments overseas from Ghanaian customs holding facilities.
Some of his amorous exploits would even involve the victims travelling to Ghana to meet their online lover, where they would be enchanted in visiting his gigantic and gold plated marble mansion, before doling out their own monies in a scheme.
A 71 year old British woman is one such victim, who travelled to Ghana after the con artist successfully portrayed himself as a British homebuilder, who was returning to Ghana and needed cash to invest in a Ghanaian mining enterprise.
"He made feel great, he made me feel wanted and that he was genuine. It was a nice feeling."- Katherine Clark told Sky News.
Another victim, Dena White, from East Yorkshire, UK, told reporters that she gave the con artist, whom she knew as Steve Moon, £50,000 in 2009 after taking a loan against her home, and which she eventually lost as a result.
Maurice Fadola is known to have conned at least 20 victims over several years with his smooth talking, but was finally nabbed when his real identity was determined in a travel application to the UK.