St. Louis man admits being mule in online romance scam

Stole from 24 victims in 19 states, all over 60

Brian Kelly
March 13, 2020 - 4:59 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-A St. Louis County man has admitted being the 'money mule' in an online romance scheme that ripped off 24 seniors in 19 states including Missouri and Illinois.

39-year-old Hammed Akande pleaded guilty in federal court. Akande received cash and electronic devices sent by the victims, to the alleged lovers they met through online dating sites and social media. He'd keep a cut and send the rest to co-conspirators in the US and abroad.

Each of the victims was over 60 years of age. Prosecutors say five of them experienced substantial financial hardship. Four of them had aggregate losses exceeding $699,000.

Akande faces up to 20 year in prison, a $250,000 fine and must pay restitution.

He'll be sentenced in June.

In addition to Missouri and Illinois, victims were from Wisconsin; Georgia; Indiana; Florida; Maine; Kansas; Pennsylvania; Colorado; New York; South Carolina; Arkansas; New Mexico; Ohio; Nevada; New Jersey; Kentucky and Oklahoma.