Three former Connecticut residents were found guilty of charges related to their participation in scams that defrauded hundreds of victims across the United States of a total of more than $5 million.
Farouq Fasasi, age 27, 31-year-old Rodney Thomas Jr., and 32-year-old Ralph Pierre, all ex-New Haven residents, were convicted on Tuesday, Feb. 15, of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering offenses, according to US Attorney Leonard Boyle.
Between August of 2015 and March of 2020, Fasasi, Thomas and others participated in lottery scams and romance scams to get victims to send them money, gift cards and personal information, Boyle said.
Victims would send the men money to addresses in Connecticut and wire money to bank accounts in the state, according to the announcement.
To help launder the money obtained during the scams, Pierre formed a fake charity and opened bank accounts in the fake charity’s name, Boyle said.
The scams reportedly defrauded 200 victims, many of whom were senior citizens.
Some of the victims lost their life savings, and one victim lost more than $1 million, Boyle reported.
The US Attorney’s Office said Fasasi and Thomas were found guilty of the following charges:
- Conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud
- Conspiracy to commit money laundering
- Mail fraud
Boyle said Fasasi was additionally found guilty of three counts of money laundering.
Pierre was found guilty of conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering, the report said.
The sentencing was set for May 10, Boyle said.
The National Elder Fraud Hotline can be reached at 833-372-8311 to assist seniors who may be victims of financial fraud.
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