Thursday, 9 July 2020

FAKE ZIM PASSPORT USED IN $75K ROMANCE SCAM


BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts man who authorities say played a role in scamming two women in their 70s out of a total of more than $75,000 has pleaded guilty to money laundering and visa fraud charges, federal prosecutors say.

Fortune Aikorogie, 33, of Lynn, used a counterfeit Zimbabwean passport and U.S. visa bearing his photograph, but with the fictitious name “Tinashi Chipo,” to open an account at a Dracut bank, according to a statement Tuesday from the U.S. attorney's office in Boston.

Aikorogie had obtained the fake documents from a friend in Africa.

In late 2016, two women in Texas whom Aikorogie did not know wired a total of $75,500 into the account at the request of fraudsters who romanced them online, prosecutors said.

One victim was a 71-year old widow with advanced Parkinson’s disease and the other was a 78-year old retiree.

Aikorogie withdrew the money and delivered it to men he did not know, prosecutors said.
The scheme was exposed by a suspicious bank investigator who informed police.

Aikorogie pleaded guilty Tuesday to making a false statement to a bank, money laundering and visa and passport fraud. Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 14.

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