January 20, 2014 1:34 pm -

God would not likely have approved of a half-a-million-dollar swindle executed by a Nigerian scam artist who used the name “David Holmes” on

According to Deputy District Attorney Cherie Bourland, “Holmes” claimed to be an Irish citizen working on a Scottish oil platform. “There had been phone calls,” she said. “He did not seem to have a Nigerian accent. He sent her flowers. But they never met in person.”

The image “Holmes” used on the website was a stock photograph of a male model. Bourland discovered that the man was Nigerian by examining the metadata in emails he sent to the victim, for whom she expressed sympathy: “You get the love drug in you and you end up getting duped,” she said.

According to Bourland, “Holmes” convinced his victim to empty her retirement account and wire him $300,000 as a loan to start his own oil business. She then wired another $200,000 to him via a bank in Turkey, but contacted the district attorney’s office shortly thereafter.

Bourland took the case, and emailed the Turkish bank to stop payment on the $200,000, which it did. When, the next day, a Nigerian national named Wisdom Onokpite attempted to withdraw the funds, Turkish National Police arrested him on suspicion of committing bank and international wire fraud.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.