Five Ghanaian sakawa boys who have been implicated in a series of scams worth over $10m have all pleaded guilty to multiple counts of fraud.
The five, four arrested in the U.S and one in Ghana, have agreed to plead guilty in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence for their crimes.
mynewsgh reports that the defendants are five Ghanaians who engage in multiple internet and romance scams, popularly known as ‘sakawa’ down here.
Four of them are in the U.S and one in Ghana and they impersonate legitimate business accounts via emails to ask for wire transfers, as well as the typical romance scam.
They carried out their scams between 2014 and 2018 and it involved creating fake identities and email addresses which closely resemble that of real business entities. With these fake addresses, they could e-mail a business posing as the legitimate business whose identity they were mimicking and have money wired into bank accounts they had created for those very purposes.
The bank accounts were created with fake names, stolen identities or shell companies in order to avoid detection, but after operating for years and milking over $10m their luck finally run out and they were busted.
The defendants have been identified as Tourey Ahmed Rufai aka “Joe Thompson,”; Prince Nana Aggrey, Abdul Rasheed Masoud and Mubarak Baturi aka “Eben Karsah. The fifth defendant is their accomplice in Ghana who also frequently receives wire transfers from his colleagues in the U.S.
They’ve all pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal and are set to be sentenced at varying times within the coming months. The case is being heard by U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote, who would determine the appropriate sentence for each defendant.