Man Who Defrauded Women on Social Media Enters Guilty Plea
Following an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation division and other law enforcement agencies, a Norwich, Connecticut man has pled guilty to federal charges related to social media fraud and tax evasion.
According to an official release from the IRS, Dexter Enwerem entered a no contest plea earlier this week. Enwerem committed fraud and tax offenses, according to the allegations against him. Per the IRS's report, from September 2019 through March 2021, Enwerem defrauded a number of individuals, usually women, online. He and a co-conspirator initially contacted all of the ladies via their Facebook or Instagram profiles.
The co-conspirator allegedly made first contact, developing friendships with the women via the social media platforms. As the victims began to trust the perpetrator, he would sometimes ask them to use Google Hangouts instead, seemingly as a bid to "prove" they were dealing with a trustworthy, authentic person. As trust increased, Enwerem's co-conspirator requested money from each victim using a story that was viable for the relationship that had been cultivated.
The women sent funds by various methods, including wire transfers, checks, money orders, and cash. Once the money was received, it was either wired into bank accounts owned by Enwerem or sent in packages to a physical address associated with Enwerem.
Ultimately, Enwerem and his associates defrauded unsuspecting ladies of approximately $450,000. Ring leader Enwerem wired about $220,000 to Nigerian bank accounts in an attempt to hide it from authorities in the United States.
It is worth noting that bank officials in Nigeria did question Enwerem about the suspicious nature of his deposits, but he lied, saying the money was intended to help family members in the African nation pay for household expenses.
The charges against Enwerem carry a maximum sentence of 25 years combined. As part of his plea, he agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $449,189 to his victims, and $127,299 in back taxes for the 2019 and 2020 tax years.
Enwerem was originally taken into custody on related state charges on March 24, 2021. He is currently free on $200,000 bond. His sentencing date is pending.
IRS-CI has joined by agents fro the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Connecticut Cyber Task Force (CCTF) and the Norwich Police Department over the course of this investigation.
What do you think about Enwerem's social media fraud scam?
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Feature Image Credit: The Good Brigade/Getty Images
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