Aug 12, 2021

Online scammers targeted isolated elderly women, stole millions

Online scammer targets elderly

David Annor, 28, worked with a team of co-conspirators, which included his brother. Together they targeted older and isolated women through social media, dating websites, email and online applications, developing online relationships with the aim of building trust.

Once trust had been established, Annor and his co-conspirators would ask the women for money, which they then laundered.

Annor could face 20 years in prison plus an extra three years of supervised release for money laundering.

The brothers and co-conspirators kept about 10% of the victim’s money, while the remainder was sent to bank accounts in Ghana.

In one case, a woman in her 60s met a man on social media who claimed to be an underwater welder from Canada named Brett Fernley. The man said he lived in Florida and worked near Ireland. After engaging the woman in what she believed to be romantic conversations, and gaining her trust, the man then asked the victim for money.

In December 2018, the victim deposited more than $60,800 (US$44,800) into a bank account opened and controlled by Annor.

Over the course of the scheme, Annor and his co-conspirators laundered more than $8.4 million (US$6.2 million), and received $5.3 million (US$3.9 million) from victims.

Annor was arrested in November 2020, and has been held in custody in Maryland, in the United States, since.

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