Flavia Annang, 60, of Hagerstown, Maryland, was sentenced last week by United States District Judge John C. Hinderaker to 48 months in prison and ordered to pay over $1 million in restitution to 19 victims. Annang pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering on March 9, 2023.
Between May 2018 and April 2022, Annang laundered money for scammers who lured victims into various online frauds. In some instances, the victims believed they were sending money to support an online romantic partner who falsely stated they needed to pay taxes and fees to release an inheritance or gold bars.
The stories told to the victims by the scammers were fraudulent. The scammers directed the victims’ monies into accounts controlled by Annang and her co-conspirator. When Annang and her co-conspirator received the fraudulent monies, they kept a fee for themselves, and then transferred the funds to Ghana.
Annang and her co-conspirator set up phony businesses and then opened business bank accounts to hide the transfer of the fraudulently obtained funds. The FBI traced over $4 million, sent by 106 victims, through Annang’s and her co-conspirator’s bank accounts. One Arizona victim lost nearly $5 million to the scams, sending over $1 million to Annang’s and her co-conspirator’s accounts and the remaining money to multiple other individuals. Annang’s co-conspirator pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering and was sentenced to 48 months in prison on January 3, 2024.
This case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative. If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is standing by at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This U.S. Department of Justice hotline, managed by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the needs of the victim, and identifying relevant next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to assist them in reporting, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis. Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. The hotline is staffed 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday. English, Spanish, and other languages are available.