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FBI traces, grabs Ghanaian fraudster for fleeing US to Accra after $10m fraud conviction




A Ghanaian man who was among 5 others who had pleaded guilty to fraud in a court in the US but fled the country has been rearrested and extradited to begin his jail term.

Tourey Ahmed Rufai, a/k/a “Joe Thompson,” a/k/a “Joe Terry,” a/k/a “Rufai A Tourey,” a/k/a “Ahmed Rufai Tourey,” who was previously sentenced to four years in prison and fled to the Republic of Ghana (“Ghana”) prior to surrendering to serve his sentence, was arrested in Ghana.



Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss is quoted to have said  “When a defendant released on bail like Tourey Ahmed Rufai cuts his ankle bracelet and flees the country, it is an affront to the victims of his crimes and the Court.  Thanks to the extraordinary work of the FBI, IRS-CI, and our law enforcement partners both in the United States and in Ghana, this fugitive was apprehended in Ghana and has been returned to the United States to serve his four-year sentence.”



RUFAI, 33, of the Bronx, New York, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on January 9, 2019.  In addition to a prison term of four years, he was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $109,868.61 and pay restitution of $320,449.97 to victims.

Rufai and his accomplices, crimes involve the theft of over $10 million through business email compromises and romance scams that targeted elderly people and businesses in the United from 2014 through 2018.  The fifth defendant who was a co-conspirator in Ghana received his wired share of the cash in Ghana.



They directed the receipt of over $10 million in fraud proceeds from victims of the scam in bank accounts that they controlled in the Bronx, New York.  Some of these bank accounts were opened using fake names, stolen identities, or shell companies in order to avoid detection and hide the true identities of the members of the Enterprise controlling those accounts.  Once the defendants received the fraud proceeds in bank accounts under their control, the defendants withdrew, transported, and laundered those fraud proceeds to other members of the Enterprise, including those located in Ghana.





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