A USA man called FREEMAN CELVIN, also known as “Celvin Freeman has been jailed after retrieval of monies for his Ghanaian partners after they successfully scamed their victims abroad.
FREEMAN CELVIN, a/k/a “Celvin Freeman,” was convicted today of all seven criminal counts he was charged with for his role in a fraud and money laundering conspiracy based in the Republic of Ghana (“Ghana”) involving the theft of millions of dollars, according to Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
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CELVIN was found guilty after a one-week jury trial before United States District Judge Jed S. Rakoff. CELVIN was arrested on February 17, 2021, and has been held in custody since then.
“As today’s jury conviction demonstrates, Freeman Celvin exploited a car business in New Jersey as a front to launder millions of dollars in fraud profits to internet scam artists in Ghana,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.
Celvin’s Ghanaian associates engaged in profitable and cruel internet frauds, duping vulnerable, elderly men and women into sending their life savings to the defendant, who then got his laundering fee and moved the money abroad. We will continue to prosecute internet fraudsters and the U.S.-based money launderers with which they collaborate actively with our law enforcement colleagues in order to safeguard American victims from these scams.”
The following is taken from the indictment, public papers, and the evidence presented at trial:
A criminal enterprise (the “Enterprise”) based in Ghana conducted a series of business email hacks and romantic scams against persons and businesses across the United States, including in the Southern District of New York, from about 2014 to roughly February 2021.
First, the Enterprise’s business email compromise fraud scheme aimed to dupe businesses into sending payments to accounts controlled by the Enterprise by using email accounts that “spoof” or impersonated workers of a victim firm or third parties doing business with a victim organization.
Second, the Enterprise deceived victims into believing they were in a romantic relationship with a fake identity assumed by members of the Enterprise by sending electronic messages via email, text messaging, or online dating websites. Many of the victims were vulnerable older men and women who lived alone.
Once members of the Enterprise had gained the victims’ trust through the use of a fake identity, they used false pretenses to get them to wire money to bank accounts they thought were controlled by their romantic interests, when in fact the bank accounts were controlled by Enterprise members like CELVIN.
CELVIN collected fraud earnings from Enterprise victims in personal bank accounts as well as commercial bank accounts for his firm, Freeman Autos LLC, which reportedly specializes in automotive sales, among other things. The defendant also received fraud proceeds from other Enterprise members residing in the United States, either in the form of wire transfers or cash delivery.
CELVIN collected a percentage fee when he received fraud funds and subsequently withdrew, transferred, and laundered the fraud proceeds to other members of the Enterprise in Ghana.
On July 20, 2022, at 4:00 p.m., CELVIN will be sentenced before Judge Rakoff.
The maximum potential punishments are set by Congress and are offered here for informative purposes only; the court will determine the defendant’s sentence.
The Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit is in charge of prosecuting this case. The prosecution is led by Assistant United States Attorneys Sagar K. Ravi, Katherine C. Reilly, and Mitzi Steiner.
Mr. Williams applauded the FBI’s excellent investigative job.
Source:US Department of Justice,