BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Silver Spring man could get more than 20 years behind bars for charges related to an online dating scheme he carried out for 19 months.
Evans Appiah, also known as Sean Carter, 27, was convicted by a federal jury Wednesday for charges of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud and aggravated identity theft after defrauding at least seven victims of more than $600,000, the Department of Justice says.
According to testimony at his six day trial, Appiah and his co-conspirators searched online dating websites and initiated romantic relationships with male and female victims in order to obtain money from them.
The relationships began with emails and instant messaging and escalated to telephone calls and text messages.
After gaining their trust, Appiah and his co-conspirators began asking the victims for money for a variety of reasons, often invoking false stories and promises to convince them.
Appiah opened and maintained bank accounts in order to receive money from the victims. Once they deposited the funds, he disbursed the money by transferring it to other accounts, withdrawing cash and purchasing goods online.
Appiah faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the conspiracy, and for each of two counts of wire fraud and for mail fraud. He also faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft. He will be sentenced August 29