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US: Ghanaian jailed four years for receiving money stolen from romance scam victims | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

A Ghanaian man, Emmanuel Quamey has been sentenced by United States District Judge Carol Bagley Amon to 48 months in prison for his role in receiving and laundering stolen money which was obtained through romance scams that defrauded over a dozen vulnerable and/or elderly victims in the United States.

As part of his sentence, Quamey was ordered to pay US$3.3 million in forfeiture and restitution to the victims in the amount of approximately US$3.8 million.

Quamey pleaded guilty in October 2023 to conspiring to receive stolen money for his role in the romance scams.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Ivan J. Arvelo, Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, New York (HSI), announced the sentence.

“Romance scams are callous crimes in which perpetrators steal money from vulnerable and elderly victims by taking advantage of the victims’ trust and desire to form human connections,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This sentence serves as a warning to individuals like the defendant that there are real consequences to participating in these cruel scams. This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to bringing these fraudsters to justice and getting the victims’ money back.”

Peace thanked the special agents of Homeland Security Investigations New York for their exemplary work on the case.

As set forth in court filings, between September 2019 and March 2023, Quamey and a network of co-conspirators received over US$3.8 million in fraud proceeds that were stolen from several vulnerable and elderly U.S. victims of romance scams.

A “romance scam” is a type of online financial fraud that occurs when an individual user of social media or an internet dating website is targeted for fraud by a scammer posing as a potential romantic partner.

The scammers use a fake persona to express strong romantic interest in the targeted victim in order to trick them into sending money to the scammer under false pretenses.

The specific stories that the scammers use to induce romance scam victims to send money vary, but as part of the fraud, the victims are directed to wire their money to one or more bank accounts to purportedly help their romantic partners.

The victims would then be defrauded of the money.

Quamey was responsible for receiving and laundering the victims’ money. He personally received approximately US$3.3 million of the victims’ money that was wired into bank accounts he directly controlled.

Using more than a dozen bank accounts in the United States and Ghana, Quamey and his co-conspirators would then transfer the victims’ money overseas to Ghana.

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