FBI: Gwinnett man scammed San Francisco woman out of $100K in online dating scheme

The suspect allegedly schemed the woman out of $111,400.
The suspect allegedly schemed the woman out of $111,400.

A Lawrenceville man is accused of taking more than $100,000 from a San Francisco woman by using two fake names as part of a romance fraud scheme, authorities said.

Franklin Efijemueh, 37, was arrested Thursday on three counts of wire fraud after convincing the woman to give him large sums of money on several occasions, the Department of Justice’s Northern District of California said in a news release Monday.

In April 2018, the suspect, who went by the name “Allen Green,” began to exchange romantic messages with the woman online, the release said. He allegedly told the victim he had traveled to Bahrain and was having financial issues and needed her to send him money.

However, he was actually in Nigeria, and the woman wired him money, the release said. Two months later, he began to use another name, “Rashad Cosmos,” and he allegedly told the woman that person could repay her.

Under this fake name, he agreed to meet her in San Francisco to pay her back as long as she paid him additional money in advance, which she did, the release said. He did meet her at a hotel room, where she allegedly gave him even more cash.

While in the hotel room, Efijemueh also showed the victim a safe and claimed that it contained large amounts of money that needed to be cleaned before it could be used, the release said. He allegedly agreed to clean the money for an additional fee, which she paid.

The safe didn’t contain money though — it mostly contained pillows.

RELATED: Man accused in $80K online dating scam defends himself in Gwinnett courtroom

He was indicted on the felony charges July 18, and he was released from jail on bond, the release said. It’s unclear which facility he was booked in initially, and his bond amount was not provided.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine on each count of wire fraud. He also may have to pay the victim restitution on the $111,400 he’s accused of stealing from her, the release said.

His next scheduled court appearance is in San Francisco on Aug. 9 at 10:30 a.m. The FBI conducted this investigation.

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