Taunton Man Sentenced for Million-Dollar Romance Scam
TAUNTON — A Taunton man will be spending two years in prison and is ordered to pay over $1 million in restitution after he admitted to creating a fake online identity to gain victims' affection before scamming them.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said 30-year-old Francis Okafor will also spend two years on probation following his prison term.
Okafor pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud conspiracy in August and was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston.
He was also ordered to repay $1,130,285 in restitution to his victims, according to the office.
Okafor and his co-conspirators ran a series of romance scams designed to take money from victims for more than three years, from May 2018 through August 2021.
In a romance scam, the scammer(s) create fake identities and start online relationships with victims to manipulate them into giving the scammers money.
This scam involved Okafor opening multiple bank accounts using fake foreign passports, with co-conspirators telling victims to send money to the accounts.
The funds were withdrawn and then wired overseas, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The U.S. Attorney's Office did not name Okafor's co-conspirators in the romance scam scheme.
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