2 Minnesota men indicted for targeting elderly victims in online romance scheme

Two men have been federally indicted for their alleged roles in a multi-million dollar online romance fraud scheme targeting elderly victims. 

The Department of Justice said 42-year-old Solomon Wilfred of Coon Rapids and 36-year-old Dodzi Kordorwu of Brooklyn Park face several counts of mail fraud after defrauding elderly victims out of millions of dollars in an apparent online romance scheme. 

According to the indictments, Wilfred and Kordorwu would contact the victims through e-mail or social media platforms using false personas to gain their trust. They would communicate with the victims via texts, instant messaging and phone calls. 

The men would lure the victims with the suggestion of a romantic relationship and propose marriage. Prosecutors say Wilfred mailed cards with rings on several occasions to people in other states. Once the relationship was established, they would introduce them to other people involved in a scheme to further lead them on. 

The men would then allegedly request money from the victims for various needs. The scheme participants would increase the requested amount over time, and the victims would send money or other valuable items in the mail, according to the indictment. 

Between June 2020 and March 2021, Wilfred received over 400 packages from victims containing over $1.2 million in fraud proceeds which he used for his own benefit and shared with other scheme participants, according to the DOJ. Kordorwu received more than $2.5 million in fraud proceeds from electronic transfers and approximately 90 separate mailings from victims between May 2018 and June 2022. 

The men were indicted separately. Kordowu is charged with eight counts of mail fraud, and Wilfred is charged with seven counts of mail fraud.