While it is often the butt of jokes on late-night TV, most people are familiar with the “Nigerian Prince” email scam. Many of us hope that people haven’t fallen for this silly scheme, but like all scams there are victims who believe the stories they are being told.
According to Louisiana’s Police Department, Michael Neu is not connected to any African royalty.
After an 18-month investigation, authorities have found that this con artist has a prolific track record of swindling people out of money. The 67-year-old was arrested and charged with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering after serving as a middleman in a variation of the Nigerian prince scam that became so widely known.
The scam that Neu has been charged with running actually predates the days of dial up internet.
In one of the schemes, someone claims that a benefactor, often a Nigerian prince, has left you an inheritance and you are required to provide your bank information so that the funds could be transferred to you. Some iterations of the scam ask victims to send money that will be later reimbursed along with the funds. Needless to say, those funds don’t exist.
Neu’s arrest is actually an important milestone for authorities.