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Despite her hand-to-mouth circumstances, Elrod’s new account soon began to receive a series of sizable wire transfers, many of which originated abroad.She’d been out of work for a year, ever since quitting her longtime clerical job at the county public health department in Charlotte, North Carolina.The 45-year-old divorcée and junior-college dropout now lived in Bluefield, West Virginia, a fading town near the Appalachian coalfields where she’d been raised.Over the course of one December week, for example, almost $30,000 arrived from Norway; on January 2, someone in France sent $16,977.
Elrod never let this money linger: She always showed up at the bank a few hours after a transfer cleared, to withdraw as much as $9,500 in cash.
“It wasn’t always about him, it was about me, about everyday stuff in my life.” Within weeks of their initial Facebook encounter, Elrod was telling Mc Gregor her most intimate secrets; he, in turn, was emailing her lists with titles like “100 Things We’ll Do Together Before We Die.” By the end of April 2011—only a month into their romance—they were discussing marriage.
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