BOSTON (WWLP) – A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to prison for his role in stealing more than $8 million from hundreds of people in a romance fraud scheme.

According to the Justice Department in Boston, 30-year-old Kofi Osei, was sentenced to 54 months in prison and two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $4,122,558 in restitution and forfeiture.

From 2016 to 2020, Osei opened 77 bank accounts with fake identities using fake documents. He used these bank accounts to fraudulently receive funds from several victims of romance scams, where Osei used fake online personas to develop a relationship with people across the country and persuade them to send him money and/or property. Once he received the money, he would withdraw the money and use it to fund the cashier’s checks or personal purchases.

Osei went by several names during these schemes, including Paul Proia, Kenneth Buck, Jeffrey Anashe, Author Ivey, David Label, Manuel Abdalla, and Andrew Matses.

In September 2022, Osei pleaded guilty to seven counts of making a false statement to a bank, six counts of wire fraud, and two counts of money laundering.

In total, the money-laundering scheme received more than $8 million in fraud proceeds, $4 million of which went directly into accounts that Osei opened and controlled.