Ghanaian National Pleads Guilty to Role in Romance Fraud Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Ghanaian national pleaded guilty to his role in a romance fraud scheme.
According to court documents and statements made during the plea hearing, Banabas Ganidekam, 24, received fraudulent proceeds from a romance fraud scheme in his bank account that was held in Ohio which he later transferred to a bank account in Huntington. Ganidekam lived in Westerville, Ohio at the time. Ganidekam received the money through wire transfer services including, but not limited to, bank wire transfers, personal checks and cashier’s checks. Ganidekam admitted that he received the fraudulent money from at least 14 different victims.
Ganidekam pleaded guilty to wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 21, 2022. As part of his plea agreement, Ganidekam agreed to pay restitution in an amount to be determined by the court.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG), the West Virginia State Police, and the South Charleston Police Department.
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys R. Gregory McVey and Kathleen Robeson are handling the prosecution.
The public is encouraged to report potential online fraud activity or scams at https://www.ic3.gov/.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:21-cr-0071.
Updated September 20, 2022