Maxwell Gbogboade was arrested for for an attempted Theft by Deception from 64-year-old James Thelning of Hatfield Township, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Hatfield Township Police Chief Mark Toomey.
Gbogboade was operating a Nigerian online fraud scheme.
Hatfield Township Police began their investigation on May 19 after Thelning attempted to withdraw $46,000 to give to a female whom he met through an online dating service, “Mary Douglas.”
“Mary Douglas” said that she was traveling to Africa to star in a movie and needed funds to cover her expenses. Thelning was led to believe that “Mary Douglas” would come to Hatfield after filming to be with him.
“Mary Douglas” sent Thelning photos that she claimed were of her, and arranged with Thelning to meet with a “money courier” so he could provide $46,000 to fund her expenses. The emails were found to be coming from Nigerian IP addresses.
Gbogboade was arrested at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott hotel where detectives intercepted his attempt to meet with Thelning to pick up the money. He was arraigned on May 20, before Magisterial District Judge Kenneth Deatelhauser. He’s charged with attempted theft by deception.
Bail was set at $750,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.