Facebook romance fraud: Berbice man charged
A 56-year-old man from Berbice was today charged by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) with Conspiracy to Defraud.
John Patrick Lewis of Lot 34 Williamsburg Village, Corentyne Berbice appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates before Her Worship Leron Daly where he pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail in the sum of $50,000. He was represented by attorney-at -aw Eucin Gomes.
SOCU was represented by their In House Attorney Towanna Hardy.
Based on reports received by SOCU, John Patrick Lewis, who is a carpenter, was the recipient of $146,500 sent by the victim with the understanding that she will receive a money laundering certificate to clear her expensive package sent by her Facebook boyfriend.
He was alleged to have acted as a third party for another person who befriended the victim via the said Facebook connection. John Patrick Lewis is just one of the four recipients whom the victim sent money to; SOCU is currently looking for the others.
The victim claimed she sent the money to the John Patrick Lewis after she was instructed to do so by her Facebook boyfriend, who provided her with all of Patrick’s personal information. She sent the money using Western Union money transfer.
To date she has never received any package and her Facebook boyfriend has since disappeared. The matter was investigated by SOCU and the suspect was arrested and charged. The case will come up for hearing again on 2nd September 2022.
It was only Tuesday last SOCU instituted similar charges against Jaffon Hinds of Lot 106 Downer Street, Grove, East Bank Demerara. The Head of Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) Assistant Commissioner Fizal Karimbaksh is once again calling on all Guyanese to be vigilant against the Package Delivery and Romance Scams. (SOCU Press Release)