Deborah Mensah, a Ghanaian woman extradited to the United States of America, has been sentenced to 70 months in prison for a multimillion-dollar money laundering conspiracy.
In 2014 and 2018, Deborah Mensah was involved in the laundering of millions of dollars obtained from business email compromises and romance scams targeting the elderly, according to the New York Southern District.
On August 20, 2020, she was extradited from Ghana to the US.
Deborah Mensah pleaded guilty to fraud charges, as outlined in a statement from the US Attorney’s Office, leading to her sentencing by United States District Judge Denise. L Cote on Thursday, July 1, 2021.
“Deborah Mensah was a member of an international criminal enterprise that stole millions of dollars from businesses and vulnerable individuals across the United States, and laundered that money through a network of bank accounts in the Bronx. Having previously been extradited from Ghana, Deborah Mensah has now been sentenced to a term in a U.S. prison for her crime”, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss stated.
Through her fraud scheme, she tricked and deceived businesses into wiring money to her ‘Criminal Enterprise’.
The ‘Enterprise’ conducted the romance scams by using electronic messages sent via email, text messaging, or online dating websites that deluded the victims, many of whom were vulnerable older men and women who lived alone, into believing the victim was in a romantic relationship with a fake identity assumed by members of the ‘Enterprise’.
She together with her co-conspirators received or otherwise directed the receipt of over $10 million in fraud proceeds from victims of the Enterprise into bank accounts that she and other members of the Enterprise controlled in the Bronx, New York.
The convict opened and maintained multiple business bank accounts in the name of an auto sales company to receive funds stolen from victims and launder them to co-conspirators based primarily in Ghana.
She also recruited and directed one co-conspirator to receive and launder fraud proceeds, and instructed that co-conspirator on how to set up a business bank account for this purpose to avoid detection.
That’s not all, Deborah Mensah has also been sentenced to three years over supervised release.
In addition, she was ordered to forfeit $202,964 and pay restitution of $1,505,519 to her victims.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.