Western Union agrees to refund millions after 'Nigerian Prince' arrest in Louisiana
SLIDELL - Police have released new info in a story that received national attention last week as a 67-year-old man was arrested for his role in a 'Nigerian Prince' scam.
According to the Slidell Police Department, Michael Neu acted as a middle man for the scam, working in conjunction with at least one other scammer outside of the country.
Police say they'd been investigating Neu since May 2016, when they first received a complaint out of Dodge City, Kansas. According to the complaint, the victim had fallen for a 'Nigerian Prince' e-mail scam and wired money to Neu, who lives in Slidell.
Through the investigation, officers learned that Neu became involved through a 'romance scheme' on Facebook. A suspected false profile "Maria Mendez" would allegedly send a number of scam emails to numerous addresses and trick victims into wiring money to Neu. Neu would then in turn send a majority of the money to the scammer, believed to reside in Nigeria, and keep a portion for himself.
Police gave Neu the benefit of the doubt and warned that the activities he was suspected of were illegal. Neu disregarded the warning, continuing the illegal activities and netting himself more that $250,000 in fraudulent transactions.
Slidell police worked with the Secret Service to arrest Neu and booked him into the St. Tammany Parish Jail.
Anyone who lost money to a scammer through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, may now file a claim to get their money back. Because of joint investigations by the FTC, the Department of Justice, and the U. S. Postal Inspection Service, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million and has admitted to aiding and abetting wire fraud.
You can find more information here: https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds/western-union-settlement-faqs