An American, Michael Neu, who has been posing as a Nigerian Prince has been arrested for involvement in an email scam.
The 67 year-old American had posed as a “Nigerian prince” to defraud people of thousands of dollars.
This was uncovered during an 18-month long investigation that exposed Neu of Slidell, Louisiana, as the internet “Nigerian prince” heavily involved in scams, obtaining money and wiring funds.
He now faces 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering, according to the Slidell Police Department.
He is accused of acting as a “middle man” for a group of Nigerian scammers.
The Federal Trade Commission said the gang operated by posing as Nigerian royalty or high-ranking officials and would persuade victims to provide them with financial assistance or personal information to retrieve a fictional inheritance.
“Most people laugh at the thought of falling for such a fraud, but law enforcement officials report annual losses of millions of dollars to these schemes,” Slidell police said.
Police said their investigation is continuing, but has been hampered by the fact that many of those accused of involvement in the scheme live outside the US.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said he hopes the arrest serves as a warning to people targeted by such scams.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never give out personal information over the phone, through email, cash checks for other individuals, or wire large amounts of money to someone you don’t know. 99.9 percent of the time, it’s a scam,” Fandal said in a statement.