A Boston man was sentenced to more than two years in prison for his role in online fraud schemes that involved opening at least 16 bank accounts at seven banks.

Macpherson Osemwegie, 32, was sentenced in Boston federal court yesterday to 32 months in prison and two years of supervised release, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office. Osemwegie was also ordered to pay restitution of $686,264.

According to the U.S. attorney’s statement, Osemwegie agreed with others to participate in a series of romance and other online scams designed to trick victims into sending money to accounts that Osemwegie and others controlled. Romance scams involve gaining a victim’s trust online and then using the romantic or close relationship to manipulate or steal from the victim.

To carry out the schemes, prosecutors said Osemwegie and his co-conspirators used fake foreign passports in other people’s names to open bank accounts and directed the victims to send money to those accounts.

Osemwegie’s role was to open bank accounts where victims transferred funds that were quickly withdrawn, the statement said. In less than three years, Osemwegie opened at least 16 bank accounts at seven banks using four different fraudulent passports, according to the statement.

From June 2017 through February 2020, Osemwegie and his co-conspirators stole almost $690,000 from nearly 100 victims, many of whom were older adults. Some victims were deprived of their life savings, the statement said.

Osemwegie had pleaded guilty in September 2021 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.

Boston Man Sentenced for Bank Fraud

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min