Milton man gets house arrest after laundering romance scam money through car dealership

·1 min read

BOSTON – A Milton man will spend six months on house arrest after pleading guilty to laundering romance scam money through a car dealership.

Augustine Osemwegie, 53, was sentenced to six months of house arrest and two years of probation, and ordered to pay a $5,500 fine, by U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel. He pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering.

Prosecutors say Osemwegie used his car dealership, vehicle auctions and international car shipping to launder and transmit money he stole through romance scams, pandemic unemployment fraud and other schemes.

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Osemwegie bought used cars with money obtained from scams, then shipped them to Nigeria where they were sold. He then gave most of the profit to the original scammers, minus fees starting at 10%, officials said.

Between October 2018 and Aug. 13, 2021, Ejad Auto Sales and Osemwegie exported 218 vehicles to Africa at a declared value of $1.3 million, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

In September 2020, during recorded calls and meetings with an undercover agent, officials said Osemwegie agreed to accept money gained through fraud from the undercover agent and transfer it abroad under the guise of purchasing a used luxury sedan.

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This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Milton man sentenced to house arrest for laundering romance scam money