A young Nigerian woman who tricked a string of lonely hearts into sending her more than £100,000 in an online dating scam is facing jail. Grace Akintaro, 24, posed as a woman called Amanda Jenson and chatted online to seven men who believed they may have found love.

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She convinced her victims to send money for travel and expenses, but she then gave excuses for pulling out of face-to-face meetings. At Woolwich crown court yesterday, Akintaro, from Greenwich, pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud by false representation on the first day of her trial.

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She claimed the dating scam was masterminded by someone else, telling the court: “I was naive and used by this person I was in love with.” Co-defendant Victoria Nwogu, 22, also from Greenwich, was cleared of the frauds but appeared in the dock with Akintaro where she admitted laundering £3,490 from the scam.

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Judge Nicholas Heathcote Williams QC freed the women on bail until sentencing on June 20, but told Akintaro: “These were romance frauds and the fact I am ordering a pre-sentence report is no indication as to the sentence. There is a real prospect she will go to prison.”

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Akintaro carried out the scam between August 2014 and December 2015. The judge said the men had suffered “psychologically and financially” once they discovered they had been conned.

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Akintaro made at least 16 trips to the bank to withdraw money sent by the men, the court heard, raking in a total of £104,962. However, the court heard she only had a £5,000 Renault Clio and a few hundred pounds left, claiming the rest of money was passed on to others in the scheme. The prosecution offered no evidence against Nwogu.

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