BOSTON – A Canton woman was sentenced today for conspiracy to commit fraud and fraud without employment.
Florence Mwende Musau, 38, was sentenced by US District Court Allison D. Burroughs to 44 months in prison and 30 months of supervised release. Musau was also ordered to pay nearly $957,000 in restitution and forfeit nearly $350,000 of the Lexus SUV. In 2021, Musau was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, wire and bank fraud.
Musau was involved in a scheme involving romance scams and other online scams aimed at tricking victims into sending money to bank accounts controlled by him and others. Fraudsters create fake profiles on online dating or social networking sites, gain the trust of potential victims and then trick victims into sending money.
In order to further the scheme, Musau used fake passports in the names of many other people to open bank accounts in and around Boston to receive the romantic love money. Mr. Musau then made large withdrawals from those accounts, usually less than $10,000, in order to avoid detection and raise awareness of the money that had been made. Musau also received money to help those affected by the unemployment crisis on behalf of the affected people. As part of the scheme, Musau used at least three letters to open about ten bank accounts and receive $1 million in fraudulent payments.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Assistant to the Director of Homeland Security Investigations for New England announced today. Special assistance was provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Postal Inspection Service. Assistant US Attorney Ian J. Stearns of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Task Force to use the funds of the Ministry of Justice in cooperation with federal agencies to strengthen efforts to combat and prevent fraud related to the pandemic. The Task Force promotes efforts to investigate and prosecute domestic and international criminals and supports organizations with a mandate to prevent fraud by, among other things, adding to and integrating existing methods of arresting, identifying tools and methods. exposing fraudsters. their schemes, and the sharing and use of information and intelligence obtained during past enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the outbreak, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about a fraud related to COVID-19 can report it by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or through the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www. .justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.