'Nigerian Prince' scam suspect arrested in Louisiana

Slidell police released this

A 67-year-old man has been arrested over his role in a "Nigerian prince" internet scam - but he's not quite what you're expecting.

Slidell, Louisiana police say they have finally caught one of the people behind part of those emails, and he is not exactly your Nigerian prince type, said police on a Facebook post. These messages are the butt of late night jokes, but people still respond to them.

They continue: "They offer to transfer lots of money into your bank account if you will pay the fees or "taxes" they need to get their money. Some fraudsters have produced trunks of dyed or stamped money to try to verify their claims".

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USA Today reported that Michel Neu, 67, was taken into custody in Slidell, Louisiana, and chaged with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering.

The ubiquitous scheme, which begins when an email is sent to an unsuspecting recipient the scammers claim has been named as the beneficiary in a will, is created to collect personal information that is then used to steal money and identities online.

In a release Thursday, Slidell police say some of the money obtained by Neu was subsequently wired to co-conspirators in Nigeria.

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While such an invitation impresses most law-abiding citizens as a laughable hoax, millions of dollars in losses are caused by these schemes annually.

Police said that their investigation is continuing, but has been hampered by the fact that many of those accused of involvement in the scheme live outside the U.S.

Slidell police chief Randy Fandal put it simply, "if its sounds too good to be true it likely is". Authorities warn to be cautious when receiving suspicious emails or phone calls from unknown individuals and urge people not to disclose personal or financial information.

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