PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island ( Associated Press) – A Texas man posing as a high-ranking military man has pleaded guilty to participating in a scam that swindled women across the country out of an estimated total of $1.6 million. had shown romantic interest in her. , often posing as an army general.
The women, often in their 70s and 80s and widowed or divorced, were persuaded to send cash or checks to addresses and businesses controlled by Fola Alabi, also known as Folayemi Alabi, 52, who lives in Richmond, Virginia. Lived in Texas.
Last week, Alby pleaded guilty in federal district court in Rhode Island to charges of conspiracy and money laundering, the US attorney’s office said in a statement on Monday.
According to prosecutors, a man posing as a general sent abroad befriended women online and gradually gained their trust by feigning romantic or personal interest.
According to prosecutors, the money was deposited into bank accounts he controlled, before being quickly withdrawn or transferred. Prosecutors said federal agents searching Alby’s cellphone found photos and videos of packages containing cash and checks that they had received from some of the victims.
The victims were from Rhode Island, Tennessee, North Carolina, California, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona, Texas, Idaho and South Dakota, according to officials.
An Arizona woman suffered $334,000 in damages, according to an affidavit filed in the case. According to the affidavit, she “felt shame, embarrassment and guilt” and, as a result, did not have enough money to eat or pay bills.
A Rhode Island woman sent a $60,000 check and was going to send another $240,000, but her bank, realizing she might be a victim of fraud, blocked her account and contacted local police, authorities said. contacted.