Federal Jury Finds Man Guilty of Fraud and Money Laundering | USAO-SDWV

HUNTINGTON, WV — After a three-day trial, a federal jury has convicted Abdul Inusah, 31, of Ghana, for his role in a Huntington-based scheme that defrauded individuals in multiple states using fake online personas .

Evidence at trial revealed that Inusah was part of a conspiracy that targeted victims using fake personas through email, text messages and online dating and social media sites. From at least January 2018 to at least December 2019, the scheme was intended to trick victims into believing that they were in a romantic relationship, friendship, or business relationship with the various fake personalities. Victims were tricked into sending money for various fake and fraudulent reasons for the benefit of fake personas.

A fake persona, “Miarama,” was used to trick an Alabama resident into providing $106,000 via wire transfer and cashier’s checks. The amount included $48,000 to pay overdue taxes on a non-existent gold inheritance in Ghana and $21,000 transferred to Bitsav Supply LLC, a front company set up by Inusah. Another fake persona, “Grace,” persuaded a Washington resident to wire money so “Grace” could maintain her South African cocoa plantation and move to the United States to marry the victim. Other victims of the fake personas included residents of Ohio and Florida.

The jury found Inusah guilty of receiving stolen money, conspiracy to launder money and two counts of wire fraud. The wire fraud tallies involve a pair of Zelle wire transfers of $2,000 to Inusah from money obtained using the fake “Miarama” persona in January 2019.

“It is truly heartbreaking to see how this plot has exploited particularly vulnerable individuals, such as following the death of a longtime spouse,” said U.S. Attorney Will Thompson. “Some of the victims did not identify themselves as victims and continued to believe that these fake personalities were real and that they were in real relationships. I salute the investigative work of the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection, 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 the prosecutors United States Deputies 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 due to be sentenced on November 21, 2022 and faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.

The public is encouraged to report any potential online fraud or scam activity at https://www.ic3.gov/.

If you or someone you know is 60 or older and has been the victim of financial fraud, help is available at the National Fraud Hotline for Seniors: 1-833 -FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This US Department of Justice hotline, operated by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the victim’s needs and identifying appropriate next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to help them report, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis. Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud, and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering the losses. The hotline is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. English, Spanish and other languages ​​are available.

A copy of this press release can be found on the website of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Court documents and related information can be found on PACER by searching for case #3: 21-cr-70.


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