BUFFALO — An Atlanta man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for his role in a romance scheme that defrauded a person from Western New York out of more than $220,000, according to federal prosecutors.

Tochukwu Okerulu, aka MT, 35, was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York.

Okerulu was accused of participating in a scheme to obtain money and property from an unsuspecting person using romantic language and appealing to the person’s emotions, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors say he conspired with others to defraud a person by falsely expressing a romantic interest in them, prosecutors said. The person sent more than $220,000 to Okerulu and other members of the conspiracy, prosecutors said.

Okerulu also was accused of defrauding 29 other people across the country out of nearly $1.8 million through romance frauds and other schemes, prosecutors said.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000, prosecutors said.

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