Kelechi Collins Umeh, 39, of Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States is accused of participating in a series of online scams. He allegedly used fake passports in the names of numerous aliases to open bank accounts in and round Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts to collect and launder the proceeds of the online scams.
To evade detection and currency transaction reporting requirements, Umeh and his co-conspirators allegedly rapidly executed large cash withdrawals from those accounts. The withdrawals were often within days of the deposit and generally structured in amounts less than $10,000.
On July 26, 2022, Umeh was arrested in connection with his role in the expansive online fraud schemes targeting individuals in the U.S. After an initial appearance before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal, he was released on conditions.
The Quincy resident was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The charge provides for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, and forfeiture.
The online scams Umeh allegedly committed include romance, advance fee and business email compromise (BEC) schemes. These scams were designed to defraud victims into sending money to accounts controlled by him and his co-conspirators.
Romance scammers adopt a fake online identity to gain their victims’ affection and trust while advance fee scammers ask their victims to pay a fee up front to obtain a bigger payout later. When the scammers send email messages that appear to come from a known source to cause victims to transfer funds to accounts controlled by the scammers, the scam is called a BEC scheme.
Categories: crimes, NEWS, North America, Social Issues, United States
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