Nigerian prince email scammer 'is an American pensioner living in Louisiana'

Michael Neu has been arrested on suspicion of being part of a ‘Nigerian prince’ email scam (Slidell Police Department)

An alleged email scammer who purported to be a Nigerian prince is in fact a pensioner living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, police have said.

Michael Neu was arrested on suspicion of 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering following an 18-month investigation by Slidell Police Department.

The 67-year-old allegedly acted as a middleman for the scheme, which saw emails sent to victims claiming they had been left an inheritance by mysterious benefactors – often a Nigerian prince.

Scammers then asked for personal bank account information, claiming to need them for the money to be transferred.

Police have now determined that Neu is not connected to Nigerian royalty.

They say he conducted up to four fraudulent transactions a week.

The 67-year-old is alleged to have made hundreds of thousands of dollars fraudulently (Slidell Police Department)

Slidell Police wrote on Facebook that Neu has already been warned about his actions but “gave him the benefit of the doubt”.

However, they allege that he continued the illegal practice “because he needed the money”.

Detectives estimate Neu made over £184,000 worth of fraudulent transactions.

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Slidell Police say they are continuing their investigation and are attempting to track down the source of the scammers outside of the United States.

Police chief Randy Fandal said in a statement: ”If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

”Never give out personal information over the phone, through e-mail, cash checks for other individuals, or wire large amounts of money to someone you don’t know – 99.9% of the time, it’s a scam.”