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Online romance scheme nets guilty plea of Ghanaian national

You hear about people being scammed out of money by online thieves all the time, but rarely do you hear one was caught and prosecuted. The U.S. Attorney's Office says that is exactly what happened in a Buffalo court Thursday.

Adams Amen, 32 and a citizen of Ghana who resides in Detroit, MI, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Allen, who is handling the case, said for two years, Amen conspired other Ghanaian nationals to devise an internet romance scheme that defrauded victims out of nearly $1 million. Allen said the nationals used the dating website MillionaireMatch.com to engage victims, using fake identities to develop relationships, then ask for money - which was deposited into bank accounts in the United States, United Kingdom and Ghana.

Thursday's plea was the result of an investigation by the FBI. Sentencing is scheduled for May 23.

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