It turns out that the "Nigerian prince" who keeps sending people e-mails to scam them is actually a 67 year old American man living in Louisiana in the USA. This was revealed after 67 year old Michael Neu was arrested by Louisiana's Slidell Police Department's Financial Crimes Division after an 18-month investigation.
Louisiana's Slidell Police financial crimes investigators have said that Neu was arrested for over 200 counts of Wire Fraud and Money Laundering.
Michael Neu | Slidell Police Department
"Neu is suspected to have been the “middle man”, and participated in hundreds of financial transactions, involving phone and internet scams, designed to con money from victims across the United States. Some of the money obtained by Neu was subsequently wired to co-conspirators in the Country of Nigeria. The investigation is on-going, but is extremely difficult as many leads have led to individuals who live outside of the United States," reads a statement by Louisiana's Slidell Police Department.
The "Nigerian Prince" e-mail scam, or sometimes known as the 419 scam, is an advance fee scam which typically is said to be from a Nigerian Prince who claims that you, the e-mail recipient, are the named beneficiary in a will, to inherit an estate worth a millions of dollars. How the scam works is that in order to receive "your riches", your personal financial information is needed to "prove" that you are the beneficiary and to speed the transfer of your inheritance. In some cases, an upfront fee is requested to facilitate the release the funds.
Although Neu has been arrested as being involved and the middle man in this particular instance of the scam, Slidell police have said that he does work with co-conspirators who reside in Nigeria.
"Nigerian Prince" Michael Neu being arrested by Slidell Police Department.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never give out personal information over the phone, through e-mail, cash checks for other individuals, or wire large amounts of money to someone you don’t know. 99.9 percent of the time, it’s a scam,” concluded Chief Randy Fandal of Slidell Police Department.