A man and woman in the U.K. have been sentenced to jail for defrauding 80 victims, mostly gay men, they met on dating apps over a 16-year period.According to a report in MyLondon, Fredrick Diji, 37, received a prison sentence of eight years at Guildford Crown Court in South London on Friday, December 23, and his partner, probation officer Raquel Johnson, 43, was sentenced to three years and nine months.
Diji had earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, concealing criminal property, and possession of an identity document for improper means.
Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering.“Romance fraud is a horrendous crime and the cost to individual victims goes well beyond financial loss,” Jane Mitchell, a prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, said after the hearing. “It is despicable that Diji targeted men either because of their sexuality, age, or poor health in order to defraud them.”Related: Man Pleads Guilty to Threats to Expose Pics of “Grindr Slag” NeighborDiji used various dating apps like Gaydar and Match to prey on gay men, first luring them with promises of love and companionship, only to later claim financial hardship and ask the victims for money.
He used various lies to fool his victims, including that he was being held by Dutch immigration authorities, that he needed money to visit and buy medicine for his ailing mother, and that he needed money to cover his mother’s funeral costs or obtain his inheritance among other scams.