Police: 18-month investigation leads to 'Nigerian prince' scam artist in Slidell

Updated: Dec. 28, 2017 at 7:38 PM CST
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SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - After an 18-month investigation, Slidell Police have arrested a man in connection with a "Nigerian prince" scam that bilked people out of thousands of dollars.

The scam involved an email from someone claiming to be Nigerian royalty who tell the recipient that they are the beneficiary in a will to inherit an estate worth a million or more. The email solicits the recipient's personal financial information to "prove" they are the beneficiary and to speed the transfer of funds.

In connection with the scam, Slidell Police financial crimes investigators arrested Michael Neu, 67, for 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering. Neu is suspected of being a middle man who participated in hundreds of financial transactions that conned money from victims across the United States. Some of the money obtained by Neu was subsequently wired to co-conspirators in Nigeria.

The investigation is ongoing, but police said it is difficult because many leads point to suspects who live outside of the United States.

"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," said Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal. "Never give out personal information over the phone, through email, cash checks for other individuals, or wire large amounts of money to someone you don't know. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it's a scam."

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