Quebec woman charged with stealing $150,000 in romance scam
A Quebec woman is facing fraud charges after police allege she stole more than $150,000 from a victim through a romance fraud scheme.
The alleged victim filed a complaint with Gatineau police in March 2021, saying they met the accused through social networks online in 2014.
The suspect identified herself as Sofia Rose Saputo-Marcotte and said she worked in the wine import business.
Police say to gain the trust of the victim, the suspect maintained almost daily communications and created a network of individuals around the pseudonym "Sofia Rose" to make her victim believe that she was real. The woman also led the victim to believe the two would meet, but police say a meeting never took place.
Police say "Sofia Rose" gained the trust of the victim and convinced them to transfer various sums of money to her to pay current bills and help with her wine importing business.
In total, more than $150,000 was allegedly given to the accused between 2014 and 2015.
Police say the accused promised to reimburse the victim as soon as she could, but never paid the money back.
"As soon as the victim indicated to 'Sofia Rose' that she was no longer able to help financially, the latter suddenly ended communications," police said.
Gatineau police identified the woman and travelled to Quebec City to arrest her.
Marie Louise Boucher will face a charge of fraud over $5,000.
Police say they have no reason to believe that there are any other victims. However, anyone who believes they have been a victim is asked to contact Gatineau Police at 819-243-2345.