The Slidell detectives said Neu told them he had gone from being a victim to at some point becoming the middle person to whom "Maria Mendez'' directed scam victims to send money.
As information from those warrants slowly began coming back, the detectives said they noticed that Neu had continued to make wire transactions to Nigeria even after they had interviewed with him.Police said the investigation is continuing and that Slidell investigators are working with the U. In the news release, police said there might be some recourse for some scam victims."If someone lost money to a scammer who had you pay using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can now file a claim to get your money back.But the detectives soon found out that not only was Neu a real person, he was also willing to talk about what they said was his role in numerous internet scams.And some 18 months later it would lead to Neu being arrested and charged with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering. 28, Slidell police said Neu was the "middle man" in online romance and Nigerian prince schemes."They send out thousands of these day, hoping someone will bite,'' said Slidell Detective Daniel Seuzeneau, a police department spokesman. "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 in the news release announcing Neu's arrest.The cases can be hard for authorities to crack because not only are the investigations complicated and time-consuming -- and often lead to people outside the U. -- but also because the victims are often too embarrassed to come forward.Seuzeneau said the scams are so pervasive that for every person caught there are dozens more who are able to elude arrest.Although police say Neu was the middle man, Giardina and Burtanog said their investigation took on the "Nigerian prince'' moniker."He admitted he knew it was wrong,'' Burtanog said."He admitted he kept doing it.'' Burtanog and Giardina said they don't know how much Neu would keep as his cut from the alleged transactions, but they said it likely wasn't very much. It is unknown if additional charges will be filed, police said.