NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A former New Bedford man accused of orchestrating an elaborate romance scam is back in the United States after being arrested in London last spring, according to U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins.
Chukwunonso “Douglas” Umegbo, who’s gone by a number of aliases including James Abbott, Michael Fillips and Richard Armani, has been charged with six counts of making a false statement to a bank, two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.
Rollins said the 37-year-old opened bank accounts in the greater Boston area using fake identity documents between 2018 and 2019.
The bank accounts were used to receive money from his victims, which Rollins said he fostered online relationships with through several fake personas.
Once he received the money, Umegbo would withdraw the cash and use it to purchase cashier’s checks, or spend it on personal purchases, according to Rollins.
Umegbo is accused of receiving more than $560,000 prior to his arrest in April 2022. His next court date is scheduled for March 2.