US and Ghana men in $600K email fraud case

A US citizen and Ghanaian national will stand trial on charges of laundering $600,000 in cryptocurrency and other denominations. The funds were allegedly the proceeds of an online scam targeting an educational facility in the American capital.

David Mensah, 30, of Accra, Ghana, and Charles Stout, 65, of Ocala, Florida, are accused of conspiring to clean cash obtained by a business email compromise (BEC) scam that targeted “an education institution” based in Washington DC.

BEC scams typically occur when cyber fraudsters impersonate employees via email to trick genuine workers into wiring funds into bank accounts controlled by criminals.

Between April and June last year, Mensah and Stout allegedly set up a shell or dummy corporation and bank and cryptocurrency accounts to launder money stolen in the BEC scam.

“They subsequently transferred portions of the fraudulent proceeds into those accounts to conceal their true nature, location, source, ownership, and control,” said the US Department of Justice, announcing the charges on October 12th.

The pair were indicted at a federal court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Each suspect faces up to 20 years in prison and half a million dollars in fines if convicted.

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