CAMDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey man is facing charges in a massive romance scam involving fake profiles on dating sites.
Federal prosecutors say 35-year-old Rubbin Sarpong and several of his conspirators in Ghana posed as U.S. military members stationed overseas.
They’re accused of defrauding more than 30 victims and stealing a total of $2.1 million.
Sarpong posted several photos of himself on social media posing with large amounts of cash.
Prosecutors say the romance scam used a fake story about gold bars to trick people into sending them money.
“They contacted victims through the dating websites and then pretended to strike up a romantic relationship with them. After establishing virtual romantic relationships with victims on the online dating platforms and via email, the conspirators asked them for money, often for the purported purpose of paying to ship gold bars to the United States,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
“Although the stories varied, most often Sarpong and the conspirators claimed to be military personnel stationed in Syria who received, recovered, or were awarded gold bars.”
The 35-year-old has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a crime that could land him in prison for up to 20 years.