Woman Conned In Online Dating Scam Convicted Of Two Counts Of Money Laundering

Online Dating Scam
A 65-year old conned by her online dating match has now been convicted of money laundering.

In 2012, Sheroll Foster from Uxbridge matched with a man she believed to be Mark Hamilton.

Having been convinced by his promise that the two would be together, she sent £65,000 to an account in Ghana over a two year period.

She believed this money would enable him to release gold deposits worth £4m from a bank in Ghana.

However, having used up all of her savings, taking out numerous loans and landing herself in unbelievable amounts of debt, Foster found out the man she had fallen for was part of a gang of conmen.

In addition to this, she now finds herself accused of being part of their criminal scheme, and is facing convictions for two counts of money laundering.

Foster was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on 15th August after she was found to have forwarded other people’s money to the Ghanaian account.

This money came from some of the scammer’s other victims, who between them sent around £30,500 to Foster, who they thought was the fraudster’s mother.

One woman even sent as much as £19,000 to Foster, who was told the funds were coming from Mark Hamilton’s friends.

After she received the money, she forwarded the cash to the Ghanaian account with her own contributions.

And having been suspected of money laundering, Foster was arrested on 10th February 2015, before being released on bail.

However in March 2015, Foster received a further £3,500 from another con victim and passed on the funds to Ghana, despite being on bail.

She later returned to court on 11th August where she pleaded guilty to the charges of money laundering, saying she did what she did because she wanted to believe Hamilton was genuine.

The 65-year-old has now been ordered to repay £3,500 to one of the conman’s victims, despite her own debt as a result of the ordeal.

Detective Constable Mark Cresswell said: “This may not be a unique tale, but it most certainly should be treated as a cautionary one.

“These fraudsters target vulnerable people and exploit them not only financially, but emotionally, making their victims believe that true happiness is almost within reach and just a bank transfer away.

“Sherroll Foster was looking forward to a comfortable retirement prior to becoming involved with this scam.

“She now faces financial ruin and extensive, long term debt.

“If someone online that you have never met in person asks you for money it is highly likely that it is a scam.”

Scotland Yard has also said that the people behind this scam are yet to be found.