Third Georgia-Based “Romance Scam” Co-Conspirator Convicted in Federal Court in Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE – A third member of an Atlanta-based conspiracy that bilked unsuspecting seniors in Rhode Island and several other states out of more than $3.2 million was convicted today in federal court in Rhode Island after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
Sadae Mills, 28, of Houston, TX, admitted to a federal judge that for approximately three months, beginning in April 2018, she agreed to receive payments that she knew had been fraudulently obtained from women through internet and app-based romance scams. Mills would take these payments, mostly in the form of money orders, cash, or wire transfers, deposit the ill-gotten funds into her bank account, and would then withdraw or transfer the proceeds, as directed by a co-conspirator. In doing so, Mills acted with the intent to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the funds.
Mills admitted that from approximately April 25, 2018, through June 7, 2018, she received a total of $34,710 in fraud proceeds and deposited them into her bank account. Mills also admitted that she spent some of the funds; transferred some of the proceeds to other banks, as directed by co-conspirator Dominique Golden, 31, of Houston, TX; and withdrew some of the funds in cash, which she then provided to Golden.
Golden, convicted on September 1, 2022, after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, was sentenced on January 25, 2023, to 78 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of federal supervised release, and to pay restitution in the amount of $1,263,822.54, romance scam proceeds she admitted to collecting and banking.
Co-conspirator Breauna Williams, 29, of Jacksonville, NC, is awaiting sentencing, having pleaded guilty on January 17, 2023, to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Williams is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18, 2023.
Co-conspirators Wisdom Oghenekaro Onyobeno, 42, of Atlanta, GA. and Syretta Scherer, 41, of Atlanta, GA, are awaiting trial in U.S. District Court in Providence. The trial is scheduled to be begin on May 1, 2023. Onyobeno has been in custody since his arrest on November 19, 2019.
Mills is scheduled to be sentenced on May 23, 2023. The defendant’s sentence will be determined by a federal district judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Denise M. Barton and John P. McAdams.
The matter was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General, and U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in Atlanta.