TWO men have been convicted of money laundering in relation to an internet dating website scam in which vulnerable women looking for love were duped out of £220,000.
Monty Emu, 28, and Adewunmi Nusi, 37, were each found guilty in a majority verdict following a trial over the Match.com scam at Winchester Crown Court.
Emu, of Frensham Road, Southsea, and Nusi, of Bomford Close, Thatcham, Berkshire had each denied money laundering between August 2012 and December 2013.
Winchester Crown Court heard the victims thought they were contacting a middle aged man called James Richards on Match.com.
In fact, the 12-strong jury was told, it was a fake profile that had been set up to net cash.
In total the victims handed over £220,000.
In one case victim Suzanne Hardman was tricked into paying out £174,000.
Neither Emu of Nusi were accused of setting up the fake profile on Match.com.
Meanwhile Brooke Boston, 28, sobbed in the dock as a 12-strong jury found her not guilty of committing fraud by false representation by using a false alias to create a fictitious profile on Match.com between March 2012 and February 2014.
Boston, of Common Lane, Titchfield, was also cleared of money laundering between August 2012 and December 2013.
Her estranged husband Emmanuel Oko, 29, of Waverley Grove, Southsea, and Chukwuka Ugwu, 28, of Somers Road, Somers Town, Portsmouth, have each admitted money laundering.
Oko has also admitted fraud by false representation.
A sixth person, Eberechi Ekpo, 26, was earlier cleared of fraud by false representation.
However it can now be reported for the first time after reporting restrictions were lifted that Ekpo, 26, of Adair Road, Southsea admitted possessing 414.1g of class B skunk cannabis with intent to supply at his home on February 19.
The court heard the drugs were worth ‘something in the region’ of £3,900.
Ekpo was given a 12-month conditional discharge.
He was cleared of money laundering as well as fraud by false representation.