Police nab 'Nigerian prince.' He's a 67-year-old guy in Slidell. Who knew?

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Slidell police say they have arrested a "Nigerian prince'' who is accused of helping scam people out of thousands of dollars.
Michael Neu, 67, has been arrested and charged with 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering following an 18-month-long investigation by the Slidell Police Department's Financial Crimes Division. Police said Thursday (Dec. 28) that Neu, of Slidell, is suspected of being the "middle man'' in hundreds of scams to separate people from their money.
In the scam, an email arrives from someone claiming to be or represent a Nigerian prince who says the recipient is the beneficiary of a large sum of money - often millions of dollars -- but must first send personal financial information such a bank account number to speed the process.
People do fall for the scam, police say.
"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 a news release.
The Slidell police news release did not include specifics of the scams or its case against Neu, but it said some of the money Neu is accused of obtaining was later wired to co-conspirators actually in the country of Nigeria. 
Police said the investigation is continuing and has been made more complicated by the fact that many leads are tied to people who live outside of the U.S. 

Across St. Tammany and the metro area, authorities in recent years have often warned of telephone and computer scams. But they've announced few arrests.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said Neu's arrest should be seen as another warning for people to be careful not to fall victim to the scams.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,'' Fandal said. "Never give out personal information over the phone, through email, cash checks for other individuals or wire large amounts of money to someone you don't know.''

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