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Why Homeland Security arrested Wema Sepetu’s sister

Nigerian national Nafise Quaye, 47, and Tanzanian Sunna Sepetu, 37, both residents of Worcester, Massachusetts, have been convicted of one count of conspiracy to launder money.

The verdict was returned by a federal jury in Concord on March 29, 2024, following an eight-day trial.

United States District Court Judge Samantha Elliot has scheduled sentencing for both defendants for July 8, 2024.

Sunna is the sister of former Miss Tanzania Wema Sepetu.

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The conviction follows an extensive investigation into their involvement in a conspiracy to launder the proceeds of wire fraud.

The court found that the couple knowingly accepted millions of dollars in wire fraud proceeds from a vulnerable victim in the US and then sent those ill-gotten gains overseas to the fraud perpetrator.

In a statement by the US Attorney’s office, District of New Hampshire, Attorney Jane E. Young said the defendants knowingly accepted millions of dollars in wire fraud proceeds from a victim in the US and sent the proceeds oversees to the fraud perpetrator.

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“Between 2013 and 2019, the defendants received approximately $3.2 million from a fraud victim located in Texas. These proceeds were sent to bank accounts established by the defendants for various shell companies. The defendants then sent those fraud proceeds to the perpetrator of the fraud operating in Africa, while keeping a portion of the proceeds for themselves,” Young said.

These funds were deposited into bank accounts set up by the defendants for various shell companies.

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The defendants then transferred the proceeds of the fraud to Africa, while retaining a portion of the funds for themselves.

The investigation into this complex web of fraudulent activity was led by Homeland Security Investigations within the US Department of Homeland Security. Assistant US Attorney Charles Rombeau prosecuted the case.