Minnesota Man Indicted for Romance Scam Targeting Colorado Woman

Minnesota Man Indicted for Romance Scam Targeting Colorado Woman

DENVER – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces that Adetomiwa Seun Akindele, age 37, of Minnesota, has been indicted on 10 counts of wire fraud and 11 counts of money laundering.

According to the indictment, beginning in January 2018, and continuing until October 2018, Akindele posed as a wealthy Italian-American businessman, “Frank Labato,” on a dating website, where he met a widowed Colorado woman. In February 2018, “Frank” began emailing the victim, and in March 2018, the two began exchanging telephone calls. During these communications, “Frank” provided the victim with additional false details about his personal and work background, images, and photos, to substantiate his fictitious persona. In March 2018, “Frank” represented to the victim that he had encountered a financial crisis related to his purported work abroad for which he claimed to need money, funds, and assistance from the victim. At “Frank’s” direction, the victim opened a cryptocurrency exchange account, where she eventually wired over $1.6 million dollars. From there, Akindele converted the money into various cryptocurrencies, laundered it across multiple crypto exchanges and then converted it back into U.S. dollars and deposited it into his own bank accounts. “Frank” fraudulently represented to the victim that he would repay her for the requested “loans” to his business. Over the course of the scheme, “Frank” executed three fraudulent “promissory notes” to reassure the victim that she would be repaid.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Denver Division conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Weiss is handling the prosecution of the case.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Case number:  22-cr-00326

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