A Kenyan nationwide dwelling in Massachusetts has admitted to her function in an elaborate romance rip-off that prosecutors say defrauded a number of males out of greater than $4million.
Florence Mwende Musau, 36, who beforehand resided in Canton, pleaded responsible on Monday to federal counts of conspiracy to commit wire and financial institution fraud, the U.S. lawyer’s workplace in Boston mentioned.
She faces a most of 30 years in jail when she is sentenced on October 14.
Florence Mwende Musau, 36, a Kenyan citizen, has pleaded responsible to federal counts of conspiracy to commit wire and financial institution fraud.
Musau, who used no less than two aliases, together with the title Catherine Muthoki, has admitted to her function in a romance rip-off that prosecutors say defrauded males out of greater than $4million
Musau was considered one of six individuals, amongst them 4 Nigerian nationals, who had been charged in March.
Musau participated in a string of romance scams designed to con victims into sending cash to financial institution accounts managed by her and her alleged accomplices, based on authorities.
She used faux identities on relationship apps and social media websites and created the phantasm of a romantic relationship with the victims to steal cash from them, prosecutors mentioned.
She additionally used faux passports and no less than two aliases, utilizing the names Precious Adams and Catherine Muthoki, to open financial institution accounts within the Boston space to gather and launder the proceeds of the scams, prosecutors mentioned.
When Musau withdrew the cash, it was usually in quantities lower than $10,000 to evade detection and foreign money transaction reporting necessities.
Musau and her alleged confederate, 41-year-old Nigerian nationwide Mark Arome Okuo, have been accused of defrauding individuals of $1.3million since 2018 as a part of a romance rip-off.
Prosecutors say Okuo used the alias Anthony Terry and pretended to be a U.S. Army serviceman and an oil business employee.
Musau and considered one of her alleged accomplices, 41-year-old Nigerian nationwide Mark Arome Okuo, had been accused of transferring or depositing $1.3million in fraudulent proceeds, since 2018, into varied financial institution accounts, together with $195,000 obtained by means of 5 romance scams, Dailymail.com studies.
A legal grievance obtained by DailyMail.com particulars how Okuo would allegedly meet ladies on relationship websites and faux to be a U.S. Army soldier serving within the Middle East or Africa.
As the relationships developed, Okuo claimed that he wanted the ladies to wire him cash to go away the army and return to the U.S. to marry them, based on the courtroom paperwork.
In one case, a sufferer was mentioned to have transferred $137,000 to financial institution accounts managed by Okuo and Musau, considering it could assist her groom-to-be to acquire his army retirement advantages early.
Okue would inform ladies that he was serving or working abroad and that he wanted cash to return to the U.S. to be with them, courtroom data allege.
In one other case, Okuo allegedly informed a girl from Georgia that he lived in Kuwait and labored within the oil business however was in love along with her and wanted $4,700 to return to the U.S. to be along with her. The sufferer promptly wired the sum to an account managed by the accused con man.
As a part of the relationship rip-off, Musau swindled a California resident she met on social media out of $7,800 by claiming that she was a United Nations refugee camp employee who wanted the cash to return to the U.S. to begin a brand new life with him.
The financial institution accounts opened by the accused con artists additionally had been used to gather an additional $20,000 by means of pandemic unemployment advantages within the names of unsuspecting Massachusetts residents who didn’t apply for such advantages.