Scam Victim’s Story: Kentucky Woman Lost $757,000 In Romance Scam
Two men have admitted taking part in a scheme to con a Central Kentucky woman out of $757,000 in an online romance scheme.
Kahad A. Wuupini, of the Seattle, Wash., area, and Thomas D. Inkoom, of Newark, N.J., each pleaded guilty March 16 in federal court in Lexington to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The two used their business accounts to accept money obtained from the woman as part of the scheme and then sent out checks to other people or businesses in the U.S. and Ghana, according to court records.
Both men are natives of the African nation but have permanent resident status in the U.S.
A third person charged in the case, Baaki Abdul Majeed, of Seattle, is scheduled for trial June 1.
The three allegedly used Facebook to target the victim, who lives in Nicholasville.
They allegedly impersonated a man named James Nehmer, led the woman to believe she was in a relationship with him and convinced her to send cash, personal checks or cashier’s checks for an investment in gold and silver that didn’t really exist.
The victim, who was not identified in court records, sent $757,000 in a little over four months in 2017, in transfers as large as $95,000.
In a related case, the FBI determined that the photo of Nehmer being used in the scam was of an Army sergeant whose name and picture had been used dozens of times in military romance scams linked to Ghana and Nigeria, James Huggins, an FBI special agent, said in an affidavit.
The FBI arrested a man who came to Nicholasville in 2017 to pick up more money from the woman, but prosecutors moved to drop the charge after authorities figured out he had been coerced to make the pick-up.
The charge Inkoom and Wuupini pleaded guilty to have a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Inkoom also agreed to a financial judgment of $100,000 and Wuupini to a judgment of $268,000.
Chief U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves scheduled the two to be sentenced in July.
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How Do You Properly Report Scammers?
It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.
Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:
- Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance [use caution, not advisable in all countries]
- Your National Police or FBI «www.IC3.gov» OR from within the U.S. «tips.FBI.gov»
- The Scars Worldwide Reporting Network «HERE» or on «www.Anyscam.com» [available anywhere]
This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.
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