Prosecutors: Victims lost $1M in gold, romance scheme

October 23, 2019 GMT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a man from Ghana living in North Carolina pleaded guilty to a scam targeting elderly people with promises of romance and wealth.

The Charlotte-based U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release that Suleman Alhassan pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire and mail fraud conspiracy. No sentencing date was set.

The news release said he and others used online dating websites to target fraud victims and develop fake romantic relationships. They told victims they owned large amounts of gold and needed money to ship the gold from Africa to the U.S.

Prosecutors say the victims were promised a share of the profits from gold sales, but people lost more than $1 million through the scheme.

A defense attorney didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment Tuesday.