A 27-year-old Ghanaian based in New York, Edward Kwaku Boakye has been handed a 14-month jail term for engaging in online scams, and a conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to a report from the New York Department of Justice, the suspect has engaged in money laundering and other online scams, where he lured victims into various online frauds, spanning over three years – February 10, 2017, to October 28, 2020.
The report detailed that “The FBI traced $710,068.91 sent by 40 victims through Boakye’s and his co-conspirator’s accounts. One Arizona victim lost nearly $5 million to the scams, sending Boakye and his co-conspirator almost $500,000 and the remaining money to multiple other individuals.
The convict, Boakye, and his co-conspirator are further said to have purchased commodities such as motor vehicles with the laundered money, which they eventually shipped to Ghana.
The report added that “When Boakye and his co-conspirator received the fraudulently-obtained monies, they kept a fee for themselves and then transferred the funds via trade-based money laundering or other means to Ghana’’.
‘’Trade-based money laundering occurs when criminally derived funds are used to purchase a commodity (in this case, motor vehicles) in the profit centre for the criminal activity (here, in the United States) for shipment to the headquarters of the criminal organization (as to Mr. Boakye, in Ghana).”
In addition to his sentence, a US court ordered that he pay $532,738 in restitution to 11 victims.