Abdul Insuah, the son of former Tamale Central MP Insuah Fuseini, has been sentenced to two years in prison for romance fraud and money laundering by a court in the United States.
The 32-year-old was found guilty by a federal jury for his involvement in a scheme based in Huntington that defrauded numerous individuals across multiple states. The syndicate used fake identities to scam their victims online. In addition to the prison sentence, Insuah has been ordered to pay $152,000 in restitution.
The US Justice Department stated that the scheme participants pretended to be romantic partners, friends, or business partners to deceive their victims from January 2018 to December 2019.
“From at least January 2018 through at least December 2019, the scheme participants sought to induce victims into believing they were engaging in romantic relationships, friendships, or business partnerships with these fabricated personas.
“The victims were persuaded to send money for a variety of false and fraudulent reasons for the benefit of the false personas,” the US Justice Department’s statement read in part.
The members of the syndicate used all sorts of false claims to delude their unsuspecting victims of several thousands of dollars, with juicy unrealistic promises.
“The amount included $48,000 to pay overdue taxes on a non-existent gold inheritance in Ghana and $21,000 wired to Bitsav Supply LLC, a shell company set up by Inusah.
“Another false persona, “Grace,” persuaded a Washington resident to wire funds so “Grace” could maintain her South African cocoa plantation and move to the United States to marry the victim.
“Other victims of the false personas included residents of Ohio and Florida,” the statement added.
Read the full details of the US Justice Department’s statement below:
Federal Jury finds man guilty in fraud and money laundering scheme
After three days of trial, a federal jury convicted Abdul Inusah, 31, of Ghana, for his role in a Huntington-based scheme that defrauded individuals in multiple states through the use of false online personas.
Evidence at trial revealed that Inusah was part of a conspiracy that targeted victims using false personas via email, text messaging, and online dating and social media websites. From at least January 2018 through at least December 2019, the scheme sought to induce victims into believing they were in a romantic relationship, friendship, or business relationship with various false personas. The victims were persuaded to send money for a variety of false and fraudulent reasons for the benefit of the false personas.
One false persona, “Miarama,” was used to induce an Alabama resident into providing $106,000 via wire transfers and cashier’s checks. The amount included $48,000 to pay overdue taxes on a nonexistent gold inheritance in Ghana and $21,000 wired to Bitsav Supply LLC, a shell company set up by Inusah. Another false persona, “Grace,” persuaded a Washington resident to wire funds so “Grace” could maintain her South African cocoa plantation and move to the United States to marry the victim. Other victims of the false personas included residents of Ohio and Florida.
The jury found Inusah guilty of receipt of stolen money, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of wire fraud. The wire fraud counts involve a pair of $2,000 Zelle wire transfers to Inusah from the money obtained using the “Miarama” false persona in January 2019.
“It is truly heartbreaking how this conspiracy exploited individuals who were particularly vulnerable, such as following the death of a longtime spouse,” said the United States Attorney Will Thompson. “Some of the victims did not recognize themselves as victims and continued to believe these false personas were real and that they were in actual relationships.
“I commend the investigative work of the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG), the West Virginia State Police and the South Charleston Police Department. I also commend Assistant United States Attorneys Kathleen Robeson and R. Gregory McVey and our trial team for trying this complex fraud case before the jury.”
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the jury trial. Inusah is scheduled to be sentenced on November 21, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison.
The public is encouraged to report potential online fraud activity or scams at https://www.ic3.gov/.