A mother and daughter used an internet dating scam to diddle $1.1 million from people who thought they were helping lonely soldiers.
According to the Huffington Post, Denver-based Karen Vasseur, 63, and daughter Tracy, 42, have been jailed for 27 years.
The court heard how they would pretend to be soldiers looking for love and duped 374 victims in the US and 40 other countries.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said that they not only broke people’s bank accounts they “also broke hearts”.
Both women pleaded guilty when arrested last year. Tracy faces 15 years while her mum was given a 12-year sentence.
However, Tracy Vasseur received an additional four years for trying to gain control of her children’s inheritance, and for “attempting to influence a public servant”.
They were not the only ones in the scam, but others who were involved have not been caught yet.
The tactic was to target potentially vulnerable people on popular social media sites or dating services. They would pretend that they were in the US military and short of cash.
When a victim offered to help they were instructed to transfer funds to the two women who posed as “military agents”. One payment was for $59,000.
Most of the cash was spirited away to accomplices in Nigeria, but also to individuals in the UK, India, UAE and Ecuador.