A 67-year old American email fraudster has been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a “Nigerian prince” scam that defrauded people of thousands of dollars.

An 18-month long investigation exposed Michael Neu of Slidell, Louisiana as the internet ‘Nigerian prince’ heavily involved in scams, obtaining money and wiring funds.

He now faces 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering, according to the Slidell Police Department.

He is accused of acting as a ‘middle man’ for a group of Nigerian scammers.

The Federal Trade Commission said the gang operated by posing as Nigerian royalty or high-ranking officials and would persuade victims to provide them with financial assistance or personal information to retrieve a fictional inheritance.

“Most people laugh at the thought of falling for such a fraud, but law enforcement officials report annual losses of millions of dollars to these schemes,” Slidell police said.

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.

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