Jailed: Hackney con artist 'callously targeted' women in romance scams

Prince Rodriguez, 23, of Hackney, was sentenced to four years in jail at the Old Bailey

Prince Rodriguez, 23, of Hackney, was sentenced to four years in jail at the Old Bailey - Credit: PA

A Hackney criminal who stole money from women he "callously targeted with romance scams" has been jailed for four years. 

Prince Rodriguez, of Hackney, also carried out money laundering and committed fraud against several banks.

The 23-year-old initially came to the police's attention when he was identified as being involved in a number of romance scams.

His misdeeds have prompted officers to warn people not to send money to strangers they have just met online.

An investigation by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) - a specialist police unit sponsored by the banking and finance industry to investigates fraudsters - revealed Rodriguez had submitted counterfeit loan applications to banks.

He was also found to have contacted the bank to dispute transactions on accounts under his control in order to receive significant refunds, and had laundered money through some of his accounts.

Officers executed a warrant at his home in Hackney and seized several mobile devices linked him to the frauds.

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Rodriguez was also found to be in breach of a restraining order placed against him by the courts.

He was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday - November 12 - after pleading guilty to six counts of fraud, two counts of money laundering and breaching a restraining order.

Det Con Fiona Roope from the DCPCU said: “Rodriguez callously targeted people with romance scams and committed numerous frauds against the banks.

“Fortunately we were able to identify this criminal and bring him to justice, after working closely with the banking sector."

The money was retrieved by the bank and all victims were fully refunded.