Maryland senior citizens defrauded out of $1.1 million in dating scams

Authorities say a Montgomery County man defrauded several senior citizens of thousands of dollars using online dating sites.

Krist Koranteng, 32, of Burtonsville and Laurel was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

From 2012 to February, authorities said Koranteng and others convinced the elderly victims that they were romantically interested in them online and through phone and text messages, and persuaded them to send money to them.

"The conspirators used a number of false stories and promises to convince the victims to give money to the members of the conspiracy, including: stories about investing in fake gold that required payments for shipping and storage; fictitious sick family members who needed money; fake hospital bills; and fake plane trips to visit the victims," according to the indictment.

Koranteng and others had victims wire money into his account or mail checks to a corporation he created and controlled, according to the Department of Justice. They also fabricated documents and created stories about gold bars, authorities said.

For the eight counts of mail and wire fraud Koranteng faces, the maximum sentence is 20 years in prison. For the three counts of money laundering he faces, the maximum sentence is 10 years in prison.

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