NJ Man Sentenced for His Role in Real-Estate and Romance Fraud

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jan 02, 2024 | 0 Comments

A Sicklerville, NJ man who conned three separate people out of $1.5 million in an elaborate real-estate and romance scam received a sentence of six years in prison.

Christopher Akeme, 39, was sentenced by New Jersey Superior Court Judge Gwendolyn Blue on September 20, 2023, for his role in a transnational scheme that involved multiple methods and levels of deceit. The sentence was announced via press release by New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin.

Accusations of fraud and financial crimes can take a serious toll on the accused and their families. The Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team does everything in its power to lessen those effects for its clients. If you need help, call them at 888-535-3686 or contact us here.

Investments, Inheritance, and Romance Scams

One of Akeme's victims, a California resident, was lured in by a two-fold scam consisting of a fake condominium investment plot with a romantic angle—to the tune of $491,645. Another woman from California was convinced by fraudsters to send $116,630; this money was purportedly intended to facilitate the release of unclaimed inheritance funds.

Lastly, a German woman who also fell victim to a fraudulent romantic entanglement withdrew nearly $1 million from her investment accounts and retirement savings. She thought she would be providing an international suitor with both payments for medical bills and funding for a real-estate development project.

All three of the schemes were perpetrated between 2017 and 2020.

Not Just Fraud, But Money Laundering As Well

In May 2023, Akeme pleaded guilty to one count of financial facilitation of criminal activity in the second degree. In doing so, he admitted to participation in the scam to defraud the three women, as well as to money laundering. He first received the funds in U.S. financial accounts he controlled, then transferred the money, totaling $1,421,689, to several Nigerian bank accounts.

In addition to the six-year prison sentence, Akeme was also ordered to pay restitution to his victims.

Accusations of White Collar Crimes Are Serious

White-collar and financial crimes might seem to be relatively innocuous when compared to violent crimes like murder, rape, robbery, and assault. However, fraud, money laundering, and other financial crimes have devastating impacts on the victims and their families.

Additionally, they can result in serious penalties and repercussions. That's why anyone accused of fraud, money laundering, or other criminal activity will absolutely require a strong criminal defense—such as that provided by the Criminal Defense Team at Lento Law Firm.

Get started by filling out the contact form here or calling 888-535-3686 to discuss your situation with the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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