Columbus man found guilty in online romance scam that swindled victims of over $1 million | #datingscams | #lovescams

A federal jury has found a Columbus man guilty on all 35 counts of money laundering in connection with an online romance scam that swindled multiple people out of more than $1 million.

Seth Nyamekye, 39, who lives on the city’s Southwest Side near Canal Winchester, laundered money for the overseas perpetrators of the scam between June 2016 and February 2018, a jury in U.S. District Court in Columbus determined Tuesday.

The scammers in the west African nation of Ghana created multiple profiles on online dating sites and began remote relationships with people across the U.S. before eventually asking their victims to send them money, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Columbus.

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At least eight victims sent their money directly to Nyamekye’s bank account, according to prosecutors. Some believed they were in relationships with a member of the military overseas.

One victim transferred $170,000 to Nyamekye’s bank account. Another victim believed she was engaged to a man who was actually scamming her and sent $50,000.

Nyamekye received more than $1.3 million from victims, according to prosecutors. He would take a cut of the money and then move the funds where the scammers could access their spoils.

Online romance scams are becoming more common. In the past five years, Americans have reported losing $1.3 billion to romance scams to the Federal Trade Commission. That’s more than any other fraud category the FTC tracks.

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“If you believe you are the victim of an online romance scam, I urge you to file a complaint at,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Kenneth L. Parker said in a prepared statement.

Nyamekye faces up to 20 years in prison on each of 18 counts, and up to 10 years in prison on each of 17 other counts, according to the release.

Jordan Laird is a courts reporter at the Columbus Dispatch. You can reach her at You can follow her on Twitter at @LairdWrites.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Online romance scam: Man helped swindle more than $1 million

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