Ohio man sentenced for charges related to dating site scams | #datingscams | #lovescams

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Columbus man has been sentenced to prison after he pleaded guilty to laundering money from romance scams on online dating and social media sites.

Mubarik Ibrahim was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Tuesday and ordered to pay nearly $840,000 in restitution, according to the IRS Criminal Investigation Cincinnati Field Office. Court documents show Ibrahim and his co-conspirators collected funds from the scams beginning in December 2014 through April 2022.

The IRS said the perpetrators created several profiles on online dating and social media sites and then contacted men and women throughout the United States and elsewhere, cultivating a sense of affection.

The perpetrators would request money for investment or need-based reasons before providing account information and directing where the money should be sent. While Ibrahim did not commit the romance fraud itself, the IRS said he controlled these accounts and laundered the funds.

Together, Ibrahim and the co-conspirators funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the scams into bank accounts Ibrahim controlled. He conducted financial transactions that included transfers of funds to other accounts by check, cash withdrawals, transfers to third parties, ATM cash withdrawals, wires to companies in the U.S., and more.

The IRS said Ibrahim knew that the funds were proceeds of romance fraud and also knew the transactions were designed, in whole or in part, to conceal the source and to move the funds from the U.S. to Ghana.

In total, accounts in Ibrahim’s control received about $839,803.81 in criminally derived funds as part of his criminal activity, according to the IRS. He also attempted to launder an additional $339,217.77 into a bank account he controlled which the bank returned to the victim due to a “fraud recall.”

Ibrahim pleaded guilty in June of 2023.

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