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Blaine man faces federal charges in alleged inheritance scam

Posted by John de Leon

— From Times staff reporter Mike Carter:

A Blaine man who claimed he stood to inherit $30 million in Nigerian oil money has been indicted for allegedly stealing $3.2 million from investors who were promised big returns if they helped him pay taxes on the money.

Federal prosecutors in Seattle say there was no inheritance, and that Scott Alan Stuart, 50, was merely using a well-worn Internet scam that few, if any, people ever fall for.

But Stuart, prosecutor says, was able convince a number of investors that the money was waiting for him in a Canadian bank, where it was left by his father, who had gotten rich building an oil pipeline in Nigeria. All he had to do was pay the taxes, he explained, and the money would be released to him so he could pay them a premium for their help.

According to an indictment issued by a Seattle grand jury earlier this week and unsealed Friday, the “loans” ranged from $500 to $450,000, and several investors gave him $100,000 or more. Others were encouraged to recruit friends to invest, the indictment says.

The indictment also charges one of Stuart’s acquaintances, Wayne Charles Sewell, who received some of the money through wire transfers.

Stuart is charged with wire fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Sewell, charged with conspiracy, faces up to five years.


July 17, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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