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2021/05/03      |  Written By:  Ms Z Hani   |   Province:  Western Cape

WESTERN CAPE - The Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court has sentenced a fraudster who ran an online dating scam in which he conned a vulnerable women out of thousands of rands. Christiano Ogbeifun(50) was sentenced yesterday to seven years direct imprisonment after being convicted on 24 counts of fraud and 1 count of money laundering.

Ogbeifun entered into a plea and sentencing agreement with the state and confessed being part of a syndicate which operated an online dating scam of which his goal was to secure large sums of money from “gullible victims”.

The investigation by the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in Cape Town revealed that Ogbeifun created fake dating profile using the mane Ceed on site. He communicated with the victim via the dating site. Ogbeifun had a computer contract with Sahal.

In January 2014, CEED asked the victim for help to replace the damaged computer and promised the victim to reimburse her. Following Ceed’s instructions , the victim paid an amount of R600,486.20 through Margilen Bank an account identified by Ceed held at Standard bank. In total, from 22 January 2014 to 03 September 2014 Ogbeifun swindled the victim over R4.1 million. At all times Ceed, assured the victim that he will pay her back.

Scrutiny by Standard bank reflected the account holder details of Topiciano wire light company with sole signatory belonging to Christiano Ogbeifun.

Ogbeifun, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for the 24 counts of fraud, 8 years of which are suspended for a period of five years on condition that he is not found guilty of fraud during the period of the suspension. He was sentenced to five years for money laundering. The court ordered his sentence to run concurrently, thus Ogbeifun will effectively serve 7 years in prison.

Ogbeifun has also been placed under investigation by the FBI as a person of interest in an ongoing wire fraud investigation where he is one of the alleged offender.