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Louisiana man charged in ‘Nigerian prince’ scam, police say

Michael Neu, 67, was a middle man in a scam that involved co-conspirators in Nigeria, a report says.

(Slidell Police Department)

The police in New Orleans have arrested a 67-year-old man after he allegedly helped swindle people out of thousands of dollars as a middleman in a “Nigerian prince” Internet scam.

Michael Neu, of Slidell, is confronted with 269 counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, the New Orleans Advocate reported.

The phishing scam is an e-mail from a Nigerian official who claims that the recipient has been named a beneficiary in a will and inherit at least $1 million. The victim is then asked to send personal information that is used to con them of their money.

Michael Neu, shown being taken into custody, faces 269 counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, authorities say.

(Slidell, La., Police)

“Most people laugh at the thought of falling for such a fraud, but law enforcement officials are reporting annual losses of millions of dollars on these schemes,” the police said.

Neu would have participated in hundreds of scam and wired money to co-conspirators in Nigeria.

The investigation is ongoing and will continue for some time, as many people complicit in these crimes live outside the United States, authorities said.

Slidell police chief Randy Fandal warned that people should, “never give out personal information over the phone or via e-mail, cash checks for other persons, or wire large amounts of money to someone you do not know. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the time, it is a scam.”

Slidell is 33 miles northeast of New Orleans.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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