Florence Mwende Musau the woman in a romance scam in America

A Kenyan lady who ran a romance scam that preyed on people in the US was given a seven-year prison term on Tuesday by a US court in Boston, Massachusetts.

In order to make up for her involvement in romance scams and other internet crimes that included tricking victims into transferring money to bank accounts she and five other people controlled, Florence Mwende Musau was forced to pay Ksh. 119 million ($957,000) in compensation.

Musau, 38, was accused of conspiring to conduct bank fraud as well as wire fraud.

Court records show that the gang used fake identities on social media and online dating sites to scam people out of a total of Ksh. 480 million ($4 million).

She entered a guilty plea in 2021 before a federal judge in Boston, and on Tuesday, she was given a sentence of 44 months in jail and 30 months of court supervision.

The Massachusetts Attorney's Office claims that Musau and her collaborators built phony accounts on social media or dating websites to win the confidence of prospective victims before tricking them into sending money under false pretenses.

Musau used phony passports in the identities of various accomplices to open bank accounts in and around Boston to collect money from the romance scams.

She then took out a lot of cash from these accounts, usually in amounts less than Ksh. 1.2 million, to try to avoid being caught and to avoid following the rules for reporting currency transactions.

Musau also obtained the money by falsely claiming survivors for state pandemic unemployment aid payments.

According to court documents, "Musau used at least three different identities as part of the plan to make almost ten fake bank accounts and get around $1 million in fraud profits."

The Kenyan lady was also ordered by Massachusetts Judge Allison Burroughs to lose a Lexus SUV and around Ksh. 44 million ($350.000).

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