Butler County man indicted in $1M romance scam

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BUTLER COUNTY — A Butler County man has been indicted on charges related to a romance scam.

Benjamin Adu Acheampong, 37, of Fairfield, faces charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, international money laundering, and two counts of concealment money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.

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Acheampong is accused of creating fake online profiles, which he used to express romantic interest in victims in order to convince them to send money by mail or wire transfer, according to a 7-count indictment.

He and other conspirators are accused of faking having a large amount of money in inheritance and needing financial help to bring it to the United States.

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Acheampong allegedly laundered part of the $1 million in scam proceeds through multiple bank accounts, including bank accounts he opened in the name of ABA Automotive & Export LLC, an Ohio LLC he created.

It is alleged the money was laundered by making wire transfers, including to accounts in Africa, and by falsely representing that the transfers were for, among other things, paying workers and family expenses.

Acheampong also allegedly made false statements to the Small Business Administration (SBA) in a Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan application, which resulted in the SBA awarding him more than $20,000 in COVID relief to which he was not entitled.

The crimes took place from January 2019 to July 2021, according to the indictment.

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