Indian Running Online Dating Scam Gets 42 Months' jail in US

Washington, April 8 (IANS) An Indian accused of meeting women on dating websites, pretending to be a high-powered financier and then seducing them, has been sentenced to a maximum of 42 months in federal prison by a US court.

Once he gained their trust, Jaitass Dhanoa, 23, also known as Jay D. Singh would steal their credit cards and their identities, prosecutors told a Philadelphia judge who sentenced him Thursday.

Dhanoa has admitted he trolled internet dating sites looking for victims, especially women of Indian descent. US authorities say they know of four local victims, although there's evidence he was dating upwards of 11 American women at the same time.

Dhanoa has never apologised directly to his victims. Back in January, he pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated identity theft, three counts of unauthorised use of an access device, eight counts of bank fraud, and one count of false representation of US citizenship.

On Thursday he told the judge he was sorry and has gotten religion since he was caught a year ago. But the judge gave him the maximum, three and a half years. In addition to the prison term, Dhanoa was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 and a $1,500 special assessment.

A victim, as cited by ABC news told the judge: "Everything came crashing down," "It was just.... Everything that I saw that I thought was real, that I understood, was fake. And everything I saw in my future was shattered. And it really hurt me," she said.

"He created a relationship where I kept falling more and more in love with him. These lies were part of his monstrous plan to steal my identity for his own financial gain," she told the judge.

She thought they would eventually marry. After she introduced Dhanoa to her parents he gave her a heart-shaped diamond necklace.

"I was head-over-heels at this romantic gesture. This necklace represented the love of the man I was going to marry. Later I discovered the necklace was fraudulently bought on my credit card," said the woman in court.


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Title: Indian Running Online Dating Scam Gets 42 Months' jail in US

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