ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — William Y. Asiedu, 27, of Albany, who received almost $450,000 from victims of romance scams, pled guilty to wire fraud conspiracy on Tuesday. Asiedu says that, for a 5% or 10% share of the payout, he agreed to collect and distribute the proceeds of a fraudulent scheme to coconspirators in Ghana.
The case was investigated by the FBI.
Between October 2018 and May 2019, two victims deposited $445,333 into bank accounts owned by “Community Youth Development Council Incorporated,” which Asiedu incorporated in New York. The victims are a woman from Arizona and a woman from Switzerland who both believed they were sending the money to a man met while online dating.
Instead, the paramours were phantom apparitions created and impersonated by Asiedu’s coconspirators, who persuaded them to give him the money.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, when he’s sentenced on October 15, Asiedu faces up to 20 years in prison and three years of supervised release. He has agreed to repay the $445,333, and will also “forfeit currency worth more than $10,000.”