Where is Scammer Rubbin Sarpong Now? – HBO Max offers the documentary ‘Devil in the Web: Scammed On,’ providing an in-depth account of Rubbin Sarpong’s fraudulent activities between January 2016 and September 3, 2019. This sophisticated con artist managed to scam millions from nearly 40 victims spread across two continents between 2016 and 2019. This documentary provides insight into three victims whose identities have been protected and the efforts made by investigators who worked tirelessly to unravel his intricate money scam scheme.
Through this documentary, viewers gain an in-depth view of Rubbin Sarpong’s methods to defraud his victims and the financial distress caused. Filmmakers aim to expose this fraud scheme’s severity while raising awareness of it.
What Scam Did Rubbin Sarpong Do?
In November 2021, Rubbin Sarpong from Millville, New Jersey, plead guilty to several charges, such as wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. Court documents revealed that Rubbin and his accomplices, mostly located in Ghana, used online dating platforms such as Plenty of Fish, Ourtime.com and Match.com to perpetrate fraudulent activities targeting US military personnel stationed overseas (primarily Syria).
The documentary delves deep into Rubbin and his group’s elaborate process for initiating contact with their victims, building long-distance romantic relationships using manipulative “words of love,” and eventually asking for financial assistance from victims. According to the FBI, their scammers lured several victims in by promising compensation in exchange for funding the shipment of gold bars from Syria into America; once in possession of said gold, they claimed they would reimburse all funds paid back plus offer additional evidence such as fake wealth documents as proof.
Rubbin and his associates used email accounts and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone numbers to contact victims, provide instructions for wiring money to an American bank account owned by him and also register accounts under his name for individuals such as friends, family, and even an imaginary company called Rubbin Sarpong Auto Sales. Our investigation has identified over forty victims who all sent their money directly into his American bank accounts owned by Rubbin. Additionally, numerous accounts owned by friends, family, or the fictitious company also had accounts registered in his name.
Victims employed various means to send money to their conspirators, including cashier’s checks, personal checks sent through the mail and Western Union and MoneyGram wire transfer services. Fraudsters encouraged victims to send funds directly to New Jersey-based co-conspirators, offering expensive gadgets in return. Furthermore, they mislead victims into thinking their computer had been sent directly to Syria – another deception devised by these fraudsters who falsely claimed that former US Ambassador Earle Litzenberger had collaborated on their scheme as part of an elaborate plot device by pretending they had worked alongside her colleague as part of elaborate scheme!
Fraudsters used an email account, posing as Mr. Litzenberger, that eventually led back to an IP address in Ghana and revealed their true identities. Tragically, at least one female victim, dubbed Victim 2, took her own life in 2018 after sending approximately $93,710 into two domestic bank accounts linked to Rubbin. Scammers enticed her by impersonating male military servicemembers and telling her that she had won a $12 million prize consisting of gold bars. They claimed to be helping a diplomat transport gold from Syria to New York using false military identification documents and aeroplane vouchers, falsely representing it as “family treasure” shipped in two trunks. Within just over one month, the victim was duped into sending this unknown individual approximately $100,000 in payment.
What Happened to Rubbin Sarpong?
On June 13th, federal investigators received information from the daughter of one of the victims that their mother had left for Baltimore Washington International Airport on June 12, 2018, one day after making her final payment to receive gold from a supposed “delivery agent for the United Nations” there. Unfortunately, when nobody arrived to collect it on June 14, when no one ever came, her body was discovered, and death ruled a suicide.
Authorities have identified Rubbin as a primary beneficiary of an extensive global scheme, alleging he received over $800,000. On social media, he often flaunted his extravagant lifestyle displaying stacks of cash, luxurious jewellery, exotic cars and bottles of whiskey, as depicted in a documentary that showed some of his Instagram photos between early 2017 and late 2018, which depicted these shows of wealth.
One selfie featuring him cradling bills to his ear while speaking on the phone call, with the words, “WakeUp (sic)…OneTime.” In another photograph from October 2018, expensive timepieces and gold jewellery such as Rolex watches costing $30,000 each, an expensive gold chain worth $10,000, and a ring with an approximate value of $1,000, were displayed by Rubbin, all given to him by wealthy individuals from Dubai; its caption also featured vague references to believers admitting the truth.
Law enforcement authorities cited numerous offensive social media posts made by Rubbin in their criminal complaint filed as evidence against him. To establish his connection to an online dating scam in Ghana and America via bank data analysis, email accounts, phone records, and IP addresses obtained via search orders – an investigation conducted jointly between FBI, DHS, and IRS that led directly to charges being filed.
Rubbin allegedly kept $800,000 for himself while wiring over $454,000 to associates in Ghana between 2016 and 2018. As reported by police reports, he earned nearly $1.14 million in taxable income from this scheme between these years. However, born in Ghana, he holds legal permanent citizenship in the US but failed to file his income tax returns and pay associated taxes, leading to a tax loss estimated at $387,923. Rubbin was charged as the sole individual involved.
In 2021, Rubbin entered a guilty plea to charges of wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and tax evasion. A judge sentenced him to 168 months of incarceration as well as compensating 36 victims with $3.08 million; additionally, fines and restitution amounting to $387,923 were ordered payable to the IRS; $4,096 went toward the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services while $6903 went toward US Department of Agriculture. Currently being housed at Federal Correctional Institution Ray Brook until late 2019, the release is expected.