Whatcom Educational CU Used In $3.2 Million Nigerian Letter Scam

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Two area men were arrested Friday and charged with running an Internet scam often associated with Nigeria through their account at Whatcom Educational CU.

Federal authorities arrested Scott Stuart, 50, and Wayne Sewell, 32, for allegedly scamming individuals out of more than $3.2 million for funds they claimed they needed to access a fake $30 million inheritance.

Stuart convinced various people across the country to send him more than $3.2 million to an account at the credit union so he could claim an alleged inheritance from a bank in Canada, authorities said. Stuart claimed his father made millions constructing an oil pipeline in Nigeria but died before the money could be moved to the United States.

Court records indicate that dozens of individuals in several states sent funds ranging from $500 to $45,100 to Stuart’s account beginning in September of 2003. He told would-be investors if they provided enough money to pay the taxes, he would be able to access the money and that they would get a large return on their investment.

Sewell assisted Stuart by collecting more than $150,000 wired by investors to him on Stuart’s behalf.

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