Police in Louisiana, United States have arrested an American for allegedly during an unascertained number of victims across the world posing as a Nigerian prince.
The suspect, Michael Neu, 67, of Slidel, Louisiana, is believed to have had a network of accomplices in the United States and Nigerua, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The paper reports: “Anyone with an email address has likely gotten a message from a Nigerian prince or two offering hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in secret inheritances or, in some cases, payment for assistance laundering ill-gotten gains from mining conglomerates or royal treasuries.
“Police in Slidell, Louisiana, say they finally caught up with one of the people behind some of those emails. He’s not exactly Nigerian royalty, either, police wrote in a Facebook post.
“Michael Neu, 67, of Slidell, Louisiana, faces 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering following an 18-month investigation, police wrote. They say Neu took part in hundreds of financial transactions involving phone and online scams to con money from people across the United States.
“In these scams, the supposed Nigerian prince (or other official) asks for the person’s personal banking information in order to speed the transfer of the purported inheritance or temporarily hold the allegedly pilfered funds. The information can then be used to withdraw funds from the victim’s accounts.
“While Neu might lack a royal title, at least some of the money obtained in his scams did go to co-conspirators in Nigeria, police wrote. Investigators are continuing to untangle Neu’s web of scams, but many other leads also connect to people outside the U.S., the post says.
After an extensive 18-month investigation, Slidell Police arrested a “Nigerian Prince” responsible for scamming people out of thousands of dollars…well sort of.
Most of us have seen the e-mail, or one similar, about a Nigerian Price who claims that you are the named beneficiary in a will, to inherit an estate worth a million or more. Your personal financial information is needed to “prove” that you are the beneficiary and to speed the transfer of your 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 financial crimes investigators arrested , 67-year-old, Michael Neu (Slidell,LA), for 269 counts of Wire Fraud and Money Laundering. Neu is suspected to have been the “middle man”, and participated in hundreds of financial transactions, involving phone and internet scams, designed to con money from victims across the United States. Some of the money obtained by Neu was subsequently wired to co-conspirators in the Country of Nigeria.
The investigation is on-going, but is extremely difficult as many leads have led to individuals who live outside of the United States.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal hopes this arrest serves as a reminder for Slidell residents to be leery of such scams. Chief Fandal said, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never give out personal information over the phone, through e-mail, 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.”
This scam, along with others, are becoming a common practice all across the United States. If someone call’s you claiming to be an official of a government agency, your local utility company, a law enforcement official, or anything similar, ask for a callback number and verify the person is legitimate.”