Man Gets 7 Years for Defrauding Victims in Romance Scam

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A Silver Spring man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for running a romance scam on the internet that defrauded victims of more than $300,000.

U.S. District Judge George Hazel sentenced 28-year-old Evans Appiah on Monday on conspiracy, mail and wire fraud and identity theft charges and ordered Appiah to pay more than $303,000 in restitution.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says at least 11 confirmed victims were defrauded.

Prosecutors say Appiah and his co-conspirators initiated romantic relationships with men and women through dating websites. The relationships began with emails and instant messages and escalated to calls and texts. After gaining victims’ trust, prosecutors say Appiah and his co-conspirators asked for money, which Appiah would spend on goods shipped to co-conspirators abroad.

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