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Ghanaian man jailed in the US for online romance scam

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Richard Yaw Dorpe

A Ghanaian man extradited to the United States (US) for online romance scam has been jailed 40 months in Norfolk, Virginia. According to news reports out of the US, 38-year-old Richard Yaw Dorpe, duped a 68-year-old recently widowed woman of more than $300,000 when he falsely posed as a 57-year-old man from Virginia Beach on a dating site.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Elizabeth Yusi.

Dorpe according to court documents cited by US Department of Justice, posed as a single, 57-year-old man from Virginia Beach on “OurTime,” an online dating website for people over 50 years old.

He claimed to be a jeweler who was traveling abroad to buy gold and other jewelry before returning home to Virginia Beach. He then met the victim, only described by the initials E.F., and started an online romantic relationship with the 68-year-old woman from Chesapeake. The woman has recently lost her husband.

The Department indicates that between August 2016 and January 2017, through his romantic manipulations, Dorpe convinced E.F. to send clothes, jewelry, a computer, a watch, and over $300,000 to him. At a point however, E.F. realized that she was being scammed, and was contacted by the FBI.

In January this year, Ghana approved the US’s extradition request after Dorpe’s arrest and the FBI took him to the Eastern District of Virginia to face charges. Dorpe pleaded guilty to wire fraud in May.

Commenting, Raj Parekh, Acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said; “The defendant repeatedly and shamelessly defrauded a recently widowed victim through a variety of manipulative tactics, leaving her in financial ruins.

As this case demonstrates, reporting these scams to law enforcement helps us uncover the fraud schemes and bring scammers, like this defendant, to justice,” he said.

Dorpe’s extradition from Ghana to face trial in the US was assisted by the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), the Ghana Police Service, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the National Security Agency of Ghana, and the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Office of Ghana. The FBI Legal Attaché Office, the DEA Country Liaison, the Regional Security Office, and staff at the US Embassy in Accra, Ghana, and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.

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