A white elderly man has been arrested in Louisiana for allegedly engaging in an email scam that’s almost always attributed to Nigerians.
67-year-old Michael Neu was picked up by the local police after 18 months of investigation into the “Nigerian prince” email scheme that revealed that he helped send fraudulently obtained money to his accomplices, some of whom are living in Nigeria, the Slidell Police Department said.
Neu was charged with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering in the scheme which involves sending an email to a potential victim claiming the recipient has been named as the beneficiary in a will to inherit an estate worth millions of dollars.
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“Neu is suspected to have been the “middle man”, and participated in hundreds of financial transactions, involving phone and internet scams, designed to con money from victims across the United States. Some of the money obtained by Neu was subsequently wired to co-conspirators in the Country of Nigeria,” the police said in a statement.
The unsuspecting email often leads to the collection of personal information which is used to steal money and identities of the victims.
According to the police, millions of dollars have been stolen through the scheme and it is difficult to track the crime since many of the perpetrators live outside the United States.
“Never give out personal information over the phone, through email, cash checks for other individuals, or wire large amounts of money to someone you don’t know. 99.9 percent of the time, it’s a scam,” the Slidell Police Department advised in a Facebook post.