Abdul Hamid Inusah, a son of Inusah Fuseini, former MP for Tamale Central, has been charged in the US for alleged fraud and money laundering.
Explaining how he got himself into this situation, Inusah told GHOne TV that “somewhere in 2018, a student wanted to purchase an auction car, [he] approached me, I went to see the car, we agreed on the amount that he was willing to pay for the car and bought the car with my auction document and with my company name. After doing it, he drove this car from 2018 to 2021.
“I graduated from school in 2019 and left the state of West Virginia, so I was not in contact with anybody, therefore, I would not have known what happened to the car or the person who owned the car. I knew nothing of the car, but I know of the money to buy the car and I purchased the car.”
When asked if he did any background checks on the person he bought the car for, he replied, “he is not the first person I bought the car for, I have bought the car for many students. Off head, I bought cars for seven students who were in my school. Anybody who comes to me to buy a car, I ask questions before I go ahead in doing so.”
The 31-year-old according to a statement from the United States Department of Justice said “was part of a conspiracy that targeted victims using false personas via email, text messaging, and online dating and social media websites. From at least January 2018 through at least December 2019, the scheme sought to induce victims into believing they were in a romantic relationship, friendship, or business relationship with various false personas. The victims were persuaded to send money for a variety of false and fraudulent reasons for the benefit of the false personas.
“One instance was when one false persona, “Mariama,” was used to induce an Alabama resident into providing $106,000 via wire transfers and cashier’s checks. The amount included $48,000 to pay overdue taxes on a nonexistent gold inheritance in Ghana and $21,000 wired to Bitsav Supply LLC, a shell company set up by Inusah. Another false persona, “Grace,” persuaded a Washington resident to wire funds so “Grace” could maintain her South African cocoa plantation and move to the United States to marry the victim. Other victims of the false personas included residents of Ohio and Florida.
“The jury found Inusah guilty of receipt of stolen money, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of wire fraud. The wire fraud counts involve a pair of $2,000 Zelle wire transfers to Inusah from the money obtained using the “Miarama” false persona in January 2019.”
Abdul Hamid Inusah explained further that the $2000 wire fraud which was stated in the charge sheet is he sent through a wire transmitting service that he used his girlfriend’s phone in sending.
“When the investigation started it clearly stated $20,000 alluding to the fact that it was stolen money. Upon realising that the money was actually meant for a car, I was asked to take a plea of receipt of stolen money; I argued with my attorneys that I cannot take a plea for something I never did with criminal intent. There is a car; I bought a car; there is a receipt for it; I was then told that if I don’t take the plea bill, they will supersede the indictment. This happened for over one and a half years.
“While this was going on, they realised there was a $2000 Zelle transfer to my personal account, and that was made by my girlfriend with her consent. [Because both my business and personal accounts were under investigation],” Inusah stated.
He said his girlfriend sending him money was broken down into two to three counts, thus one being, “identity theft – because I sent money with my girlfriend’s account, they claim I was using her identity -my girlfriend was brought to court to testify and she testified that she gave me permission to do that transaction; so that identity theft was dropped. Since that $2000 went through a wire service, it becomes a wire fraud [per the law].”
“I was superseded three times, so, the counts now became eight and I still opted for trial, in fact, I would spend 50 years [in jail] but I was offered a plea of six months jail term, I refused and went ahead with the trail until somewhere this month, we went for trial, it lasted four to five days and a jury came out with somewhat of a verdict pronouncing me not guilty for three to four charges on those counts and four charges, they thought I was guilty of those.
“As to convictions or jail sentences, jail time or prison time, there is nothing of that sought. Because there is still a chance for me to talk with the government as to whether I still want to pursue the case from different angles or just to have a man-to-man talk with them with respect to giving them some information for lesser sentences or whatever I decide to go do with the case.,” Abdul Hamid Inusah stressed.