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A Texas man will be sentenced in April for running a national online romance and investment scheme that was first reported to police after employees at the $452 million Westerly Community Credit Union in Rhode Island suspected one of its members was being scammed.

Westerly Community’s tip led to an FBI investigation and Fola Alabi, 52, of Richmond, Texas, who pleaded guilty last month in federal court in Providence, R.I., to charges of conspiracy and money laundering. He admitted to a federal judge that he created companies and opened credit union and bank accounts that were used to launder more than $1.6 million bilked from seniors in at least 11 states, including Rhode Island, according to the United States Attorney’s office in Providence. What’s more, tens of thousands of dollars were wired from credit union and bank accounts to bank accounts of Chinese companies, court records showed.

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Peter Strozniak

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