COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Canal Winchester man who netted $1.3 million through catfishing scams will face time in prison, and also owes restitution payments to money laundering victims.
Seth Nyamekye, 40, was sentenced to 60 months in prison Thursday, according to Southern District of Ohio U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker. A federal grand jury found Nyamekye guilty of 35 counts of money laundering in June.
Nyamekye acted as the middleman in an online romance scammer ring from at least June 2016 to February 2018, where perpetrators created digital dating profiles to draw in victims by alluring them with romantic gestures — and then requesting money for investment or other needs. Although Nyamekye didn’t defraud victims himself through these profiles, he did launder the money other scammers gathered.
“This defendant helped fraudsters prey on vulnerable peoples’ desires for love and connection,” Parker said in the Thursday press release. “Nyamekye conducted financial transactions to conceal that money was generated by fraud and to get the money to co-conspirators in Ghana. He deserves the sentence he received today.”
Two victims were scammed by people who pretended to be in the military. They sent more than $240,000 total to an account called Gloseth Ventures LLC, which actually belonged to Nyamekye.
Another woman — convinced by the scammer that she was engaged to the person she believed was represented in the dating profile — wired $50,000. At least eight victims sent money to Nyamekye’s account.
45-year-old Edward Amankwah of Westerville pleaded guilty to money laundering in a similar online romance scam case in September. Amankwah netted nearly $4.3 million in that case.