Londoner sentenced to four years for romance scams and bank frauds

A criminal from London has been sentenced at the Old Bailey after pleading guilty to committing six counts of fraud, two counts of money laundering and breaching a restraining order.

The sentencing, on 12 November 2021, followed a successful investigation by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a specialist police unit sponsored by the banking and finance industry that investigates the criminals responsible for fraud.

Prince Rodriguez, 23, of Hackney, London was initially identified as being involved in a number of romance scams. The investigation then revealed he moved on to committing fraud against a number of banks. The bank frauds involved submitting counterfeit loan applications, as well as contacting the bank to dispute transactions on accounts under his control in order to receive significant refunds. Rodriguez was also laundering money through accounts under his control.

The fraud was spotted by the bank and referred to the DCPCU to investigate the case. Officers executed a warrant at his home address and seized several of his mobile devices which found evidence linking him to these frauds. He was also found to be in breach of a restraining order placed against him by the courts.

Rodriguez received four years imprisonment for his offending. The money was retrieved by the bank and all victims were fully refunded.

Fiona Roope, Detective Constable of the DCPCU, commented:

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.

We would urge the public to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign - always avoid sending money to someone you've never met in person, particularly if you have only recently met online.

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Notes to editor

The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) is a unique proactive police unit, with a national remit, formed as a partnership between UK Finance, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police together with the Home Office. It is fully funded by the banking and finance industry, with an ongoing brief to investigate and arrest criminals responsible for card, cheque and payment fraud crimes. It is headed up by a Detective Chief Inspector and comprises officers from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces who work alongside banking industry fraud investigators and support staff. In the first half of 2021, the unit prevented £85 million of fraud, disrupted 24 organised crime groups (OCGs), arrested 67 suspected criminals, and secured 49 convictions.

Londoner sentenced to four years for romance scams and bank frauds

16.11.21

Press release