A Louisiana man has been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a “Nigerian prince” fraud scheme that defrauded people of thousands of dollars.
&&Michael Neu, 67, faces 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering after being taken into custody following an 18-month investigation, the Slidell Police Department said in a statement.
Michael Neu, 67 of Slidell, La., was arrested on wire fraud and money laundering charges in connection with a “Nigerian prince” scam, according to the Slidell Police Department. Handout
“”According to police, Neu acted as a “middle man” for a group of Nigerian scammers, obtaining money and wiring funds to his co-conspirators.
&&According to the Federal Trade Commission, the scammers operate by posing as Nigerian royalty or high-ranking officials and persuade victims to provide them with financial assistance or personal information to retrieve a fictional inheritance.
Though such scams have become notorious, thousands still fall for them, according to police.
“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 in a statement.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said in a released statement. “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.”
Police said that their investigation is continuing, but has been hampered by the fact that many of those accused of involvement in the scheme live outside the U.S.