Co-conspirators catfish women out of $450,000

The impact of fraud, identity theft and consumer scams can last for months or even years.
The impact of fraud, identity theft and consumer scams can last for months or even years.(Pexels via MGN)
Published: May. 28, 2023 at 4:07 PM EDT
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NORWICH, Conn. (WFSB) - A Norwich man has pleaded guilty to his involvement in a social media catfish scheme that defrauded women out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Court documents say Dexter Enwerem, 36, took part in the scheme between September 2019 and March 2021.

Enwerem worked with a co-conspirator who would use a false identity to contact women through Facebook and Instagram.

The co-conspirator would make false representations of himself to befriend these women until the relationship progressed far enough to ask them for money.

The victims would then send money by wire transfers, checks, money orders, and cash, according to court documents.

“Some of the money was wired into bank accounts that Enwerem controlled, and some was sent in packages to an address where Enwerem could receive them,” the Department of Justice said.

Enwerem defrauded these victims out of more than $450,000. He wired around $220,000 of this money to banks in Nigeria.

When questioned, Enwerem falsley claimed the money was being sent back to family members to help take care of his grandmother.

Enwerem also did not pay taxes on this fraudulent income.

Enwerem pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and one count of tax evasion.

These two charges carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and 5 years, respectively.

He has agreed to pay the victims restitution of $449,189, and $127,299 in back taxes for the 2019 and 2020 tax years.

Enwerem was arrested on related state charges on March 24, 2021. He was released on a $200,000 bond pending sentencing.