A New York District court has jailed Fred Asante 9 years after pleading guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in February 2022.
The US-based Ghanaian was initially arrested on February 17, 2021, as a member of a criminal money laundering syndicate in Ghana.
The May 18 judgement handed by District Judge Jed S. Rakoff was the result of US$36.4m stolen in over four years from American individuals and firms.
The 37-year-old, who was the leader of a criminal enterprise was also sentenced to three years of supervised release.
He is also ordered to make two financial payments – forfeiture to the tune of US$647,488 and restitution in the amount of US$2,292,486.71.
The over 80 Victims were lured through online romances in which the scammers illegally applied for US federal COVID-19 loans.
He set up companies that appeared to be involved in legitimate business, but in reality they were simply fronts that he used to receive and launder millions of dollars.
He operated 19 bank accounts across over 10 different banks as part of his money-laundering operation.
Deposits made through these accounts were approximated at $36.4 million the period spanning September 2016 through to January 2021.