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    Thursday, April 18, 2024

    Norwich man pleads guilty to targeting women in $450,000 social media scam

    A 26-year-old Norwich man pleaded guilty this week to federal fraud and tax offenses stemming from a scheme in which he used social media to lure women into sending him $450,000.

    Dexter Enwerem waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty in Bridgeport federal court, U.S. Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery announced.

    Between September 2019 and March 2021, Enwerem participated in a scheme to defraud individuals, primarily women, who were contacted through their Facebook and Instagram accounts, authorities said.

    As part of the scheme, a co-conspirator of Enwerem would use a false identity and make false representations to approach and befriend victims through the social media platforms. Eventually, the co-conspirator would request money from the victim based on various false representations of need.  The victims would then send money by wire transfers, checks, money orders, and cash. Some of the money was wired into bank accounts that Enwerem controlled, and some was sent in packages to an address where Enwerem could receive them.

    Enwerem and his co-conspirators defrauded victims of approximately $450,000 through the scheme. He wired approximately $220,000 of these funds to bank accounts in Nigeria, authorities allege.

    Enwerem also failed to pay taxes on the income he fraudulently obtained.

    Enwerem pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and one count of tax evasion. As part of his plea, he has agreed to pay restitution of $449,189 to his victims, and $127,299 in back taxes for the 2019 and 2020 tax years.  Free on a $200,000 bond, Enwerem faces up to 25 years in prison at sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled.

    The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Connecticut Cyber Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Norwich Police Department, with the assistance of the Hartford Police Department.

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