Six years in jail for Greenwich inheritance con artist
By JulieGK | Thursday, January 10, 2013, 20:25
A Greenwich conman who convinced people they had received windfalls, then charged them fees of almost £800,000 to get the non-existent money, has been sentenced to six years imprisonment.
Patrick Bomboi Emuh, 54, of Bromhedge, Greenwich has been jailed for an 'inheritance' fraud
Patrick Bomboi Emuh, 54, of Bromhedge, Greenwich, was handed the sentence at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday.
Emuh was convicted on December 3 last year after the court heard how he cold-called and emailed at least 20 people from around the world, telling them they had won a lottery or inherited money from a distant relative.
Having tricked his victims into believing they were in line for thousands of pounds, Emuh instructed them to pay "advance fees", "taxes" and "handling charges" to obtain the money.
In some cases, a person pretending to be a lawyer contacted victims to "help" them claim the money, charging them more money for this service.
The victims, from the UK, USA, Germany, Chile, New Zealand, Australia and Romania were directed to pay the money into a variety of bank accounts or to Emuh by Western Union cash transfer.
Some of the victims from abroad were talked into travelling to the UK where they were met by people posing as businessmen.
The total sum of money Emuh took from his victims was £788,297.
Police began investigating Emuh in 2006 after they found him carrying £10,000 cash. They seized the money under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and financial investigators examined his bank accounts. They found large sums of money being deposited into his account. Officers were able to identify and contact some of the payees, all of whom told the same sorry story about Emuh.
Confronted with this evidence, Emuh told police he had a diesel oil business and that the victims were customers in Nigeria. This was untrue and so despite claims that he could provide evidence to prove his story, Emuh never did.
He was convicted of 19 counts of acquiring criminal property contrary to section 329(1)(a) of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Police have already seized £60,000 cash from Emuh and are now applying for a confiscation order from which victims will be compensated.
Accredited financial investigator Doug Ferns, of the Metropolitan Police's Specialist and Economic Crime Command led the investigation. He said: "This sentence is well deserved. Emuh span a convoluted and convincing web of lies to con victims, who he had no concern for, out of their money.
"We are determined to continue uncovering scams like this and seeing that the perpetrators receive the kind of sentence that Emuh has.
"If a stranger contacts you saying you have inherited money or won a lottery and must pay fees to access your windfall, do not believe it. Call the police."
For advice on these kinds of scams see www.actionfraud.police.uk
If you think you have been a victim of a scam like this call police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Alternatively, report it online at www.actionfraud.police.uk