John Nassy, a 29-year-old Nigerian man, faces 10 years in prison in the United States after pleading guilty to involvement in a $2.5 million money laundering scheme that defrauded about 200 victims, many of them elderly.
According to a statement on the website of the US Justice Department on Monday, August 8, Nassy said he participated in the scam from June 2018 to May 2019 while attending college in Huntington, West Virginia.
Nassy and his accomplices allegedly created fake online profiles and contacted victims on email, social media or dating websites. They led victims to believe they were in a romantic relationship, friendship or business deal, according to court records. Then they asked for money for various fraudulent reasons.
“Nassy admitted he received at least $148,000 from victims, knowing he was participating in illegal activities,” the statement reads.
“Nassy further admitted that after the money was deposited, he kept some for himself, forwarded portions to his co-conspirators via digital payments, and transferred funds to bank accounts located in Nigeria.
“He pleaded guilty to receipt of stolen money in connection with a fraud and money laundering scheme.”
Nassy is one of the 10 men charged in four separate indictments with several fraud-related crimes in this scheme. Six of the co-defendants have also pleaded guilty while charges against the other co-defendants are pending.
His accomplices include Kenneth Emeni, Kenneth Ogudu, Oluwagbenga Harrison,Oluwabamishe Awolesi and Romello Thorpe, among others.
Nassy is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 14, 2022, and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a three-year supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Nassy also agreed that he owes $148,000 in restitution.