Ghanian Man Allegedly Ran "Romance Scam" On Massachusetts Women

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Ghanaian national who most recently lived in Randolph was arrested this week for allegedly running a four-year-long "romance scam" on several Massachusetts women.

According to U.S. Attorney Andrew Leling's office, 28-year-old Kofi Osei had at least three aliases; "Kenneth Buck", "Jeffrey Anashe", and "Paul Proia."

Osei was taken into custody Thursday and indicted on seven counts of making a false statement to a bank, six counts of wire fraud, and two counts of money laundering.

Federal prosecutors said Osei told three Massachusetts women fantastic stories of being blown up on foreign oil rigs and needing money to get out of a French jail.

The indictment says from approximately 2016 to at least 2020, Osei opened bank accounts in the greater Boston area using fake identity documents.

"Those bank accounts were then used to receive fraudulently obtained funds from a number of victims of romance scams, in which perpetrators created fictitious online personas to develop online romantic relationships with individuals in the U.S., and then leveraged those relationships to obtain money and/or property," Leling's office said. "Altogether, the fraudulent accounts received $1.7 million."

The indictment alleges that once those fraudulently obtained funds reached the fraudulent accounts, Osei generally withdrew the money in cash to either purchase cashier’s checks or to spend on personal purchases.

Osei pleaded not guilty to the charges on Friday and is being held pending his detention hearing on Monday. He could face upwards of 30 years in prison.

WBZ NewsRadio's Shari Small reports:

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Written by Brit Smith

(Photo: Getty Images)

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