Albany Man Sentenced in Connection with Romance Scam
ALBANY, NEW YORK – William Y. Asiedu, age 27, of Albany, was sentenced today to time served (5 days in jail) and 3 years of supervised release, and to pay $445,333 in restitution, for his participation in a romance scam.
The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In pleading guilty, Asiedu admitted that he agreed to receive the proceeds of a fraudulent scheme and to distribute the proceeds to his co-conspirators in Ghana in exchange for a 5 to 10 percent cut.
Between October 2018 and May 2019, two women, one from Arizona and the other from Switzerland, sent a total of $445,333 to bank accounts standing in the name of Community Youth Development Council Incorporated, an entity that Asiedu incorporated in New York. Asiedu’s co-conspirators falsely led each woman to believe that she was sending the money for the benefit of a man she met through an online dating web site. In fact, Asiedu’s co-conspirators posed as these fake paramours, and fraudulently induced the victims to send money to Asiedu. Asiedu sent most of the money to his co-conspirators in Ghana, keeping about 5 to 10 percent of it for himself.
Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy also ordered the forfeiture of $9,799 in U.S. currency seized from Asiedu, and that Asiedu perform 100 hours of community service.
This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.