Where did all of the people on Instagram promising to turn your $500 to $5000 go? In New Jersey and Philly, they’re sitting behind bars.
Federal prosecutors announced on Friday that criminal charges have been issued to ten individuals in Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia for their roles in a quick cash scheme that used Snapchat and IG accounts in order to scam social media surfers out of more than $1.5 million.
The defendants who are all in their teens and early 20s spent most of their ill-gotten gains on jewelry, watches, clothes, and cars.
prosecutors said the get rich quick scheme focused on social media accounts used by 22-year-old Kayla Massa of Gloucester City, NJ, who appeared to have built her extensive online following since her early teens.
Her Instagram account, Kayg0ldi, had more than 300K followers, while her YouTube account amassed over 100K subscribers, where she posted hair tutorials and updates on her “Golden Family”.
Prosecutors allege she used her IG stories feature for her online pitches, which always included wads of cash, money orders, and bank account balances.
The victims would DM Massa, where they would receive the instructions on what method they would use to make their money. According to federal prosecutors, all Massa and her crew wanted was her victims’ bank account information. Once they were done with the accounts, they would cease all communication with their victims.
The other nine named defendants are Kayla’s sister Leire Leian Massa, 19, William Logan, 22, Jordan Herrin, 22, Erasmo Feliciano, 19, Kevin McDaniels, 18, Jabreel Martin, 20, Dezhon McCray, 20, Andrew Johnson, 21 and Alex Haines, 27.
All were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.