New London County resident Dexter Enwerem, age 36, of Norwich, pleaded guilty to taking part in a scheme to defraud women through social media on Tuesday, May 23, according to the US Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut.
According to federal officials, between September 2019 and March 2021, a co-conspirator of Enwerem would contact multiple victims, who were mostly women, through their Facebook and Instagram accounts while using a false identity.
Through making false representations, the co-conspirator would eventually befriend the victims and sometimes move the conversation to Google Hangouts, an online platform that would let them communicate by video call or direct chat message.
The co-conspirator would then request money from the victims based on making false representations of need, leading them to send them money by wire transfers, checks, money orders, and cash.
Some of these funds would be moved into bank accounts controlled by Enwerem, and some were sent in packages to an address where he would be able to receive them.
As a result of the scheme, Enwerem and his co-conspirators ended up defrauding victims out of around $450,000. Around $220,000 of these funds were wired to bank accounts in Nigeria.
When bank officials would question the true nature of these wire transfers, Enwerem would claim that the recipients were family members and that the funds would pay for the care of his grandmother and household expenses.
Enwerem did not pay any taxes on these funds, federal officials said.
He was eventually arrested on March 24, 2021, and was released on a $200,000 bond pending sentencing.
Enwerem admitted to the following charges:
- One count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison;
- One count of tax evasion, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
As part of his guilty plea, he will also have to pay his victims $449,189 in restitution and $127,299 in back taxes for the 2019 and 2020 tax years.
Enwerem's sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
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