New Jersey resident Freeman Celvin, who participated in a multi-million-dollar fraud and ML conspiracy based in Ghana, has been convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, receipt of stolen money, conspiracy to receive stolen money, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.
Between 2014 and 2021, a Ghana-based criminal enterprise perpetrated numerous romance and business email compromise scams against US-based victims. The criminals gained the trust of their victims using fake identities and lured them into sending money to bank accounts that members of the criminal enterprise, such as Celvin, controlled.
Between 2016 and 2021, Celvin received illicit proceeds of over $5.7 million in eight personal and business bank accounts. He also received illicit proceeds from other US-based members of the criminal enterprise via wire transfer or cash deliveries. Celvin retained a percentage of the proceeds as commission and laundered the rest by purchasing automobiles and other goods. He then transported these products to other members of the criminal enterprise in Ghana. This trade-based ML scheme helped conceal both the source of the fraud proceeds and the identities of the criminals. Celvin will receive his judicial sentence in July 2022.
Source: US Department of Justice