81-year-old American woman involved in $1.5m fraud for Nigerian lover awaits sentence
Glenda Seim, an 81-year-old US citizen, has pleaded guilty to participating in fraudulent activities on behalf of her Nigerian internet boyfriend in order to gratify him.
A grand jury in the Eastern District of Missouri accused Seim on two charges of identity theft in connection with her role as a “money mule” in several fraudulent operations on behalf of her online romantic interest.
A “money mule” is someone who accepts unlawfully acquired money and goods on behalf of a scammer and then passes the proceeds to the scammer.
The octogenarian participated in fraudulent schemes including receiving MoneyGram wire transfers from senders she did not know; depositing defrauded funds into financial accounts she opened; allowing her online boyfriend to fraudulently transfer funds from the financial accounts of various businesses into her financial accounts; and accepting unemployment insurance benefit payments on behalf of individuals she did not know despite warnings and threatened by wire transfer agencies, federal law enforcement representatives, bank representatives and others to forced closing of her financial accounts.
In the indictment, the octogenarian in 2014 began an online relationship with an individual who claimed to be a United States citizen with business interests in Nigeria while the male lover asked for Seim’s assistance in paying fees, taxes, and penalties to the Nigerian government or his business associates claimed he could not leave Nigeria unless he paid those funds.
Seim, according to the court document, began sending him money from her Social Security retirement benefits and pension and later sold electronic equipment that he had others send to her in the mail and forward the funds to him.
Between June 2014 and February 2021, according to the indictment, the octogenarian attempted to conduct fraudulent transactions between $550,000 and $1,500,000.
United States District Court Judge Stephen Clark accepted Seim’s guilty plea on Tuesday and scheduled to pronounce the sentence on February 10, 2022.