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Judge: Victor A. Bolden
Court: United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (New Haven County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in New Haven
Description: New Haven, Connecticut criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with fraud and tax offenses stemming from a scheme that defrauded women approached through their social media accounts.
Between approximately September 2019 and March 2021, Dexter Enwere, age 36, of Norwich,m participated in a scheme to defraud individuals, primarily women, who were contacted through their Facebook and Instagram accounts. As part of the scheme, a co-conspirator of Enwerem used a false identity and made false representations to approach and befriend victims through the social media platforms. As the relationship progressed, the co-conspirator sometimes moved the communication to Google Hangouts, an online platform that allows users to communicate by video call or direct chat message. Eventually, the co-conspirator requested money from victims based on various false representations of need. The victims then sent money by wire transfers, checks, money orders, and cash. Some of the money was wired into bank accounts that Enwerem controlled, and some was sent in packages to an address where Enwerem could receive them.
Through this scheme, Enwerem and his co-conspirators defrauded victims of approximately $450,000. Enwerem wired approximately $220,000 of these funds to bank accounts in Nigeria. In response to bank officials who questioned the nature of these wire transfers, Enwerem falsely stated that the recipients were family members and that the funds were intended to take care of his grandmother, and for household expenses.
Enwerem also failed to pay taxes on the income he fraudulently obtained.
Judge Bolden ordered Enwerem to pay restitution of $449,189 to his victims, and $127,299 in back taxes for the 2019 and 2020 tax years.
Enwerem was arrested on related state charges on March 24, 2021. On May 23, 2023, He pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, and one count of tax evasion.
This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Connecticut Cyber Task Force (CCTF), the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and the Norwich Police Department, with the assistance of the Hartford Police Department.
The FBI’s CCTF is staffed with detectives from the Connecticut State Police’s Cyber Crimes Investigation Unit and the Bristol, Hartford, Stamford, and UConn Police Departments, as well as an agent from the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. To contact the CCTF or report a cyber incident, please call the FBI’s New Haven Field Office at 203-777-6311 or file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at https://www.ic3.gov.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. McGarry.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.