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Press Release

Dual citizen admits to laundering romance scam proceeds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 39-year-old man who holds citizenship in the United States and Ghana has pleaded guilty to operating an illegal money transmitting business, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Kenneth Anim had resided in the Houston and Richmond areas.

He admitted that from 2014 to 2019, he operated an unlicensed money transmitting business to launder funds from wire fraud schemes including internet fraud and romance scams. Anim ran the unlicensed money transmitting business by using shell companies that existed only on paper.

As part of the plea, he acknowledged opening and maintaining bank accounts to collect proceeds from internet and romance fraud schemes to send the money to himself, co-conspirators and overseas.

A romance scam occurs when criminals adopt fake online identities to gain a victim’s affection and trust. The scammer then uses the illusion of a close relationship to induce the victim, under false pretenses, to send money to the scammer.

U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein accepted the plea and set sentencing for July 21. At that time, Anim faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

Amin has been and will remain in custody pending sentencing. 

FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Belinda Beek and Grace Murphy are prosecuting the case.

Updated April 27, 2023

Financial Fraud