HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — A Nigerian man pleaded guilty for his involvement in a $2.5 million money laundering scheme that defrauded about 200 victims, many of them elderly.
According to court records, John Nassy, 29, said he participated in the scam from June 2018 to about May 2019 while he attended college in Huntington, West Virginia.
He and other members of the scheme allegedly created fake online profiles and contacted victims on email, text, 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, the conspirators allegedly asked for money for various fraudulent reasons.
Court records say Nassy admitted he received at least $148,000 from victims, knowing he was participating in illegal activities. He also said that after the money was deposited, he kept some for himself, forwarded portions to his co-conspirators via digital payments, and transferred funds to Nigerian bank accounts.
Nassy pleaded guilty to receipt of stolen money in connection with a fraud and money laundering scheme.
Nassy is one of 10 men charged in four separate indictments with several fraud-related crimes in this scheme. A total of Six people have pleaded guilty so far. Charges remain pending against some codefendants.
The U.S. Department of Justice reminds that an indictment is an allegation and that all defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Nassy is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 14. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a three-year supervised release and a $250,000 fine. He has also agreed he owes $148,000 in restitution.