Columbus man pleads guilty to conspiring to launder proceeds from online romance fraud


Date: November 3, 2022


Columbus, OH — Charles Asumadu of Columbus, Ohio pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Asumadu was charged by bill of information on August 8, 2022.

According to court documents, Asumadu and his coconspirators laundered proceeds of online romance scams. The perpetrators of the romance scams created several profiles on online dating or social media sites. The perpetrators then contacted men and women throughout the U.S. and elsewhere, with whom they cultivated a sense of affection and, often, romance. The perpetrators would then request money, ordinarily for investment reasons or need-based reasons. The perpetrators provided account information and directed where the money should be sent. In part, these accounts were controlled by Asumadu.

In furtherance of the scheme, Asumadu used bank accounts in his name and in the name of companies that that he controlled. Asumadu established Dr. C. Asumadu Health Care Agency and Dealership & Health Care LLC and used the companies for the purpose of money laundering. Asumadu was the sole signer on bank accounts in the names of both entities. Asumadu and the coconspirators together funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds from romance scams into bank accounts in Mr. Asumadu's control. Asumadu conducted financial transactions in order to move funds from the United States to Ghana.

In total, accounts in Mr. Asumadu's control received approximately $744,815.30 in criminally derived funds as part of his criminal activity.

Conspiracy to commit money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office announced the plea entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge Norah McCann King.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter K. Glenn-Applegate and was investigated by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation.