COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The last of seven defendants was sentenced in a romance fraud case that resulted in nearly $12 million in laundered money in 2020.

Kwame Yeboah, 38, of Columbus, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay back the $1.7 million he conspired to launder through bank accounts in his control.

Yeboah, and six other co-defendants, were convicted for laundering money obtained through an online romance scam, though they did not conduct that actual online scamming of the victims. The total amount generated and laundered by the scam totaled over $11.8 million.

The other defendants received sentences between 18 months and five years in prison. One defendant received a term of probation.

NameAgeCity of ResidenceSentence Received
Robert K. Asante39Canal Winchester60 months in prison
Eric Ahiekpor52Lewis Center36 months in prison
Edward Amankwah45Westerville48 months in prison
Uriah Lamdul30Columbus24 months in prison
Mohamed Toure28Columbus18 months in prison
Kwame Yeboah38Columbus18 months in prison
Alexis Wellington32Canal WinchesterTerm of probation

The online scam consisted of individuals who created several profiles on online dating web sites. They established relationships and trust with men and woman throughout the United States and would later ask for money, typically for investment or need-based reasons.

The defendants would take the victim’s money, and conducted transactions to conceal, such as transferring funds to other accounts, buying official checks, sending wire funds to Ghana, China and within the country.

In June of 2021, Ahiekpor pleaded guilty for his part in the scam, which included laundering $2.4 million. He was also separately sentenced for wire fraud for his role in defrauding the EIDL Program for $150,000, which he used to buy two boats, an outboard motor and boat trailer. Since that offense occurred after his pretrial release on the money-laundering scam, he was ordered to serve those sentence consecutively.

As well, Toure was also sentenced separately for a COVID fraud scheme in which he received $110,000 in loan proceeds.

In September 2022, Amankwah pleaded guilty to laundering over one-third of the total amount, $4.3 million.