A Ghanaian Jailed 40 Months In U.S. Over Online Dating Fraud

(Justice.gov) NORFOLK, Va. – A Ghanaian national was sentenced on Friday to 40 months in prison for wire fraud as part of his scheme to defraud victims on a dating website.

“The defendant repeatedly and shamelessly defrauded a recently widowed victim through a variety of manipulative tactics, leaving her in financial ruins,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “As this case demonstrates, reporting these scams to law enforcement helps us uncover the fraud schemes and bring scammers, like this defendant, to justice.”

According to court documents, Richard Yaw Dorpe, 38, posed as a single, 57-year-old man from Virginia Beach on “OurTime,” an online dating website for people over 50 years old.

richard yaw dorpe ghanaian online dating fraud

Dorpe purported to be a jeweler who was traveling abroad to buy gold and other jewelry before returning home to Virginia Beach. Dorpe met victim E.F., who was a 68-year-old recent widow from Chesapeake, on the website and started an online romantic relationship. 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. Eventually, E.F. realized she was a victim of a scam, and was contacted by the FBI.

In January, Ghana approved the United States’ extradition request and the FBI brought Dorpe to the Eastern District of Virginia to face charges. Dorpe pleaded guilty to wire fraud in May.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen.

Valuable assistance concerning the extradition of Dorpe from Ghana to the United States was provided by Ghana’s Economic and Organized Crime Office, 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. Additional valuable assistance was provided by the FBI Legal Attaché Office, the DEA Country Liaison, the Regional Security Office, and staff at the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs also provided significant assistance in securing his extradition from Ghana.

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