A 41-year-old Brampton, Ont. man has been charged in connection with a $30,000 online romance scam, after police said he posed as a “diplomat” from the U.K.
York Regional Police launched an investigation in April after a 51-year-old woman from Vaughan, Ont. reported she had been defrauded after meeting a person online and falling victim to a “classic” romance scam — in which alleged scammers play on victims’ feelings to extort money.
Police said the suspect agreed to pay back some of the woman’s money, which was allegedly borrowed, and arrangements were made to meet with a U.K. diplomat named Adam David who would return her funds.
The woman then met the man at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga and police said she was told David had the money to repay her but more was needed to “free the funds” from Customs Canada.
Police said the woman then paid the man and the two later met in a nearby hotel, where she was allegedly shown a briefcase full of money painted black — so that it could allegedly be smuggled into the country.
The suspect informed the woman that she would have to pay additional funds to have the money “cleaned,” according to police, but after the two met to exchange money for the cleaning solution the suspect was never seen again.
On Aug. 31, police identified the suspect and arrested him at his home in Brampton without incident. A search warrant was executed and police believe there may be more alleged victims.
Taiwo Gbolade, who police said also goes by the aliases Adam David and David Adam, has been charged with fraud over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime and breach of probation.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 29 and police are asking anyone with information to contact the York Regional Police Major Fraud Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6612 or Crime Stoppers.