Unbelievable Story Of A U.S. Military Soldier Sanda G. Frimpong Involved In A Romance Scam Gang

A U.S. Soldier from Ghana becomes a real romance scam gang member

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•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Former U.S. Army soldier Sanda G. Frimpong, formerly stationed at Fort Bragg, has been sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for his involvement in a money laundering romance scam targeting vulnerable individuals, including seniors and military veterans, from 2019 to 2022. Frimpong, 33, pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering in exchange for the dismissal of multiple charges, including wire fraud and identity theft.

His fraudulent activities, which included impersonating romantic partners and military personnel, resulted in the laundering of hundreds of thousands of dollars through various bank accounts and contacts in Ghana.

U.S. Attorney Michael Easley emphasized the seriousness of romance scams, particularly when perpetrated by a servicemember, while Special Agent in Charge Christopher Dillard stressed the importance of integrity within the armed forces. The investigation was led by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, with prosecution handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney David G. Beraka.

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Just Unbelievable: Former Army Soldier/Servicemember Sanda G. Frimpong Sentenced to Prison in Money Laundering Romance Scam

A former Fort Bragg soldier, Sanda G. Frimpong, was sent to federal prison Thursday for a fraud scheme and online romance scams that stole hundreds of thousands from vulnerable, often elderly people, from 2019 to 2022.

Sanda G. Frimpong, 33, a former Ghanaian, was a U.S. Army specialist when he was arrested on the allegations in March 2023. He pleaded guilty in September to three counts of money laundering. In exchange for the plea, multiple counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy, identity theft and device fraud were dismissed, record shows.

Sentenced to Prison

Sanda G. Frimpong, 33 (male), was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison and ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution to victims for laundering the illicit proceeds of an elaborate series of romance scams. Frimpong pled guilty to three counts of money laundering on September 14, 2023.

“Romance scammers exploit our most vulnerable citizens, even our seniors and military veterans, sometimes leaving them financially and emotionally devastated,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “The fact that an Army servicemember was involved in romance scams while serving as a soldier is appalling. We are partnering with the Department of Defense to drum out fraudsters and money launderers like Frimpong from our military ranks and put them in prison where they belong.”

“Integrity is a core tenet of the armed forces and when servicemembers choose to compromise their integrity for greed, it tarnishes the reputation of all others serving in uniform,” stated Special Agent in Charge Christopher Dillard, Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Mid-Atlantic Field Office. “DCIS and its law enforcement partners will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to hold those accountable who cheat government programs and use online scams to prey on the most vulnerable.”

Frimpong and other conspirators, engaged in elaborate scams, impersonating romantic love interests, diplomats, customs personnel, military personnel, and other fictitious personas for the purpose of ensnaring their victims by earning their confidence, including promises of romance, sharing of an inheritance or other riches, or other scenarios intended to fraudulently induce the victims to provide money or property to the conspirators. Frimpong then laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds of these frauds through his various bank accounts across state lines and through his contacts in Ghana. Frimpong was also an active-duty Army servicemember stationed at Fort Bragg during the commission of the offenses up until shortly after his arrest in 2023.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III announced the sentence. Defense Criminal Investigative Service led the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney David G. Beraka prosecuted the case.

Arrested and Indicted

Sanda G. Frimpong, 33, was arrested on March 1st, 2023, upon the unsealing of a 19-count indictment that included charges of Money Laundering, Fraud, Conspiracy, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Access Device Fraud in connection with multiple interstate and international fraud and money-laundering scams. Frimpong, an active duty servicemember then stationed at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, faced between up to ten and up to twenty years in prison per count, and potential fines – but instead go just 40 months.

“Online romance scams are increasingly targeting lonely, vulnerable, and often elderly victims,” stated US Attorney Michael Easley. “Our office is committed to seeking justice for fraud victims just as we are to prosecuting those who took advantage of programs intended to help unemployed and underemployed folks who struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to the indictment, Frimpong and other conspirators, engaged in elaborate scams, impersonating romantic love interests, diplomats, customs personnel, military personnel, and other fictitious personas for the purpose of ensnaring their victims by earning their confidence, including promises of romance, sharing of an inheritance or other riches, or other scenarios intended to fraudulently induce the victims to provide money or property to the conspirators. Frimpong allegedly laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds of these frauds through his various bank accounts across state lines and through contacts in Ghana.

Additionally, in a separate scam, according to the indictment, Frimpong and other conspirators fraudulently applied for unemployment assistance in various states, using stolen identities. This fraud included allegedly obtaining over $100,000 in funds intended for those struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic and made available via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”).

Frimpong was indicted on three counts of money laundering; seven counts of wire fraud; three counts of mail fraud; one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud; three counts of aggravated identity theft; and two counts of access device fraud. Arraignment before United States District Judge James C. Dever III is scheduled to occur later this year.

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