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Inheritance con artist convicted

December 4, 2012, 11:50 am

A conman who convinced people they had received windfalls, then charged them fees of almost £800,000 to obtain the non-existent money has been convicted.

Yesterday, Monday 3 December, Southwark Crown Court heard how Patrick Bomboi Emuh, 54 (26.06.58) of Bromhedge, Greenwich, SE9 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. Several were shown banks notes that they were told were theirs but were contaminated. The victims were instructed to pay money up front in order for the cash to be cleaned to “legitimise” it. This was just another ruse to extract more money from them.

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 and is scheduled to appear for sentence at Southwark Crown Court on 08 January 2013.

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 MPS’s Specialist and Economic Crime Command led the investigation. He said: “Emuh tricked people into believing they had struck it lucky and when he was caught out he had the audacity to claim that the victims were in fact business customers. A thorough investigation of his bank accounts, mobile phones and computer combined with the many witness statements allowed us to see right through his story.

“People like Emuh are driven by greed and because of the potential pay off of a con like this they will go to unbelievable lengths to convince their victim that it is genuine, as Emuh did.

“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

101 – The police non-emergency number

101 is the number to call when you want to contact your local police in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – when it’s less urgent than a 999 call.
Find out more information about 101 by following this link.

 
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