A jury in the United States District Court at St. Loius has sentenced one Wende Anne Terril, an American citizen to one year in prison.
Terril, 49, was sentenced on Friday with an order to pay back about $200,000 she stole from her company to help her ‘fiancé’, a Nigerian scammer, who conned her in an online romance scam.
According to the prosecutors, Terrill wrote five-figure cheques and sent one wire transfer from her employer, Midwest Petroleum, to other accounts between January 27, 2017 to March 31, 2017.
The woman was the company controller and the accounts were associated with companies with which Midwest was not doing business, court documents showed.
The money was almost immediately transferred overseas. Several links in the chain of money transfers had Nigerian connections, prosecutors have said in court documents.
After Terrill left the company, a Midwest official discovered emails between her and others about ‘fiancé’ Santino Gallo, who was supposedly an oil rig worker with outstanding debts.
Prosecutors said the 49-year-old was the victim of a Nigerian romance fraud scheme in which scammers create fake online profiles, develop a romantic relationship with their victims before making series of requests for money until the victim’s finances are exhausted.
Last week the US Government indicted 77 Nigerian in a 252-count charge of conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of $40m.