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[NEW YORK DAILY NEWS] Colorado mom-daughter duo posed as military men to bilk $1 million in Nigerian-backed online dating scam: prosecutors

25 Jun 2012 11:11 AM | Anonymous
Colorado mom-daughter duo posed as military men to bilk $1 million in Nigerian-backed online dating scam: prosecutors

racy Vasseur, 40, and mom Karen Vasseur, 73, of Brighton, Colo., are due in court Tuesday on charges they posed as military members in online dating sites and accepted payment from 374 victims over a three-year period.

BY NANCY DILLON / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012, 3:44 PM

 Tracy Vasseur, left, and her mother, Karen Vasseur, who authorities say stole a million bucks in a Nigerian Web romance scam.

Tracy Vasseur, left, and her mother, Karen Vasseur, who authorities say stole a million bucks in a Nigerian Web romance scam.

Meet the mother-daughter duo who authorities say stole a million bucks in a Nigerian Web romance scam.

Tracy Vasseur, 40, and mom Karen Vasseur, 73, of Brighton, Colo., are due in court Tuesday on charges they posed as military members involved in online dating exchanges and accepted payments from 374 victims over a three-year period, state prosecutors said.

"Individuals working with the Vasseurs lured unsuspecting women to Internet dating sites by posing as members of the U.S. military serving in Afghanistan," according to a statement from the Colorado attorney general.

"After a phony relationship was established, victims were asked to send money and were led to believe that the soldiers would use the money to retrieve property, travel to the U.S., and pay other expenses," the statement said.

Prosecutors say the women accepted hundreds of payments sent by victims via wire transfer, then took a percentage of the stolen money before sending the remainder to associates in Nigeria.

The Vasseurs established 20 personal and business bank accounts at 11 local banks for the purpose of laundering the stolen money, prosecutors said.

As part of the scheme, Tracy Vasseur also used a 16-year-old to fraudulently receive stolen money and then wire it to Nigeria, according to the indictment.

Tracy Vasseur faces up to 205 years in prison if convicted on all counts. Her mom faces up to 172 years in prison.

Defense lawyer Jim Aber was not immediately available for comment.

Source:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/colorado-mom-daughter-duo-posed-military-men-bilk-1-million-nigerian-backed-online-dating-scam-prosecutors-article-1.1101996


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