A student has been jailed for three years after six lonely women were scammed out of £186,000 through dating websites.
The victims were contacted by a man, who police believe is Emmanuel Jack, 26, who claimed to be an architect, engineer and gem broker, while talking them into handing over the money.
Using aliases including John Creed, John Windsor and Johnnie Carlo Rissi, the cash was said to be needed for various business purposes.
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Jack, who was studying for a business degree at the University of Salford, admitted 11 counts of money laundering totalling £186,000 and possession of articles for use in fraud at Manchester Crown Court. Two of the women who were conned are British.
Detective Constable Stuart Donohue, from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said: "While we strongly suspect - but cannot prove - that Jack was the person who was communicating with these women, what we can prove is that money totalling close to £277,000 has been transferred through his bank accounts
"Woman from across the globe were targeted and exploited. Women, who in most cases were vulnerable and lonely.
"Some took out loans and others have lost life savings.
"From speaking with these women it is apparent that they believed they were speaking with a man who had genuine feelings for them, a man who loved them and wanted to be with them and who they genuinely believed to be a soul mate."
The first victim met a man who claimed to be John Creed - a self-employed architect and building contractor on a dating website in August 2011 when she was aged 61.
The pair exchanged email correspondence over several days before Creed began expressing his love.
He then claimed to have two contracts: one for log homes in Shropshire and the other for the renovation of six flats in Sweden and sent her his contract allegedly worth £950,000.
He continued to tell her that his feelings were "too strong to ignore" before asking for £1,500 to help pay for supplies for his project.
Despite querying this request on numerous occasions, Creed phoned her and accused her of not trusting him.
Feeling guilty, she agreed to transfer some funds to the account given - which was sent to Jack's account.
Also in August 2011, another woman who was aged 52 at the time and who was vulnerable, began chatting with a man over the same website.
The man claimed to be living in Spain and working as an architect and building contractor.
After a couple of weeks he again asked for £1,500 to repair damaged machinery and that he would reimburse the woman as soon as he returned to the UK.
He then made a request for cash to pay tax bills before asking to borrow money to pay his workers.
The woman took out a loan and paid the money to accounts that resulted in the money being transferred to Jack's account.
Following the reports from the two women, an investigation was launched by officers from the Volume Fraud Team at GMP and Jack was arrested in April 2012.
His bank accounts were identified and forensically investigated.
Officers discovered a wire transfer document relating to a transfer from a woman in Burkesville, Kentucky. The documents referred to payments of £7,800.00 on March 6 2012 and £31,750 on March 15 2012.
Officers liaised with Kentucky state police who took a statement from the woman, who died in August 2013.
In it she stated that she met a man with the profile name John Windsor through another dating site around January 2012.
Windsor told her he was an engineer who had been awarded a contract to redevelop Wick Airport runway in Scotland. The funds were sent to bank accounts by money transfers and in the form of Rolex watches through the post.
Officers also liaised with Delta police in relation to a victim from Ohio.
She met a man who called himself John or Johnnie Carlo Rissi who was from America but had moved to England to set up as a gem broker.
Whist apparently on business in Spain he requested money to assist with a tax issue and for assistance with payroll, along with various other excuses. Nine transfers totalling 31,640 dollars (£18,924) were sent.
Rissi also requested funds be sent to an account in Jack's name for 6,650.00 US dollars (£4,117.96), which the victim did.
In total two UK and six foreign victims were identified who sent money that ended up in Jack's accounts. Collectively they were conned out of £186k.
A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing is scheduled to take place on May 16, for the authorities to try to recover the money.