Man accused of pocketing $1 million in romance scam

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Newly unsealed documents from federal court show how a Ghana man living in Charlotte is accused of tricking vulnerable women looking for love.

Channel 9 has reported on plenty on romance scams in the past.

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Typically, a suspect meets a victim online, pretends to have a romantic relationship and then asks for money.

However, federal prosecutors said Suleman Alhassan took things to a whole new level, alleging he pocketed $1 million.

Like in other romance scams, prosecutors said he'd meet people through dating websites.

They said his group would target older people.

But once they were hooked with false promises of romantic relationships, this scheme would shift from romance to a get rich quick scheme, according to court documents.

Prosecutors said Alhassan and his coconspirators would falsely claim to own large quantities of gold in Ghana and would tell victims that they needed to send him cash so they could ship that gold to the U.S. and sell it.

They allegedly claimed the victim would then share the profits.

In court Monday, prosecutors said Alhassan would get the victims to send cash to him hidden in the mail by tucking cash inside of magazines, sometimes $30,000 to $40,000 at a time.

Alhassan faces 60 years in prison and fines totaling nearly $800,000 if convicted.