Five Ghanaians have been arrested in connection with internet fraud in the United States (US).
According to a report by MyNewsGh.com, four of the suspects are living in the US while one is a resident in Ghana.
The report suggests all five suspects pleaded guilty to engaging in internet fraud, known locally as sakawa, with the hope of getting a lighter sentence.
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The suspects have since been identified as Tourey Ahmed Rufai, Prince Nana Aggrey, Abdul Rasheed Masoud and Mubarak Baturi.
They are alleged to have duped some US citizens of $10 million through business email compromises and romance scams between 2014 and 2018.
Reports suggest they directed the receipt of over $10 million in fraud proceeds from victims of the scam in bank accounts that they controlled in the Bronx, New York.
The money was then wired to their co-conspirator who lives in Ghana.
The suspects, in order to hide their identities and avoid being caught, opened accounts using fake names and stolen identities.
The suspects‘ modus operandi includes creating fake email accounts to impersonate their victims or companies of prey.
They then trick other employees of the victim’s company with access to the company’s finances into thinking the fake email accounts are authentic and order them to make payment into certain bank accounts.
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By forging signatures, the victims often do not suspect and end up being scammed by these fraudsters.
Four of the suspects have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, while their co-conspirator in Ghana also pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property.
All the suspects are, however, yet to learn about their sentences, which will be pronounced by U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote.
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