The Sad Tale Of Glenda Seim

The Story of a Romance Scam Victim who became a Money Mule then a Federal Convict at age 81

A SCARS Victim Story

Glenda Seim, Convicted Money Mule!

An 81-Year-Old Kirkwood Woman Pleaded Guilty To Being A “Money Mule” For An Online Scammer

81-year-old Kirkwood, Missouri woman pleads guilty to being “money mule”

An 81-year-old Kirkwood woman pleaded guilty to being a “money mule” for an online scammer.

Glenda Seim made the plea to U. S. District Court Judge Stephen Clark on November 2 for two counts of identity theft.

In a release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of Missouri, a “money mule” is described as a person who receives stolen money and merchandise for a scammer and then sends the proceeds to the scammer.

In 2014, Seim started an online relationship with a person who claimed to be an American citizen with business interests in Nigeria. The scammer would ask her to send him money for what he claimed were fees, taxes, and penalties for the Nigerian government or business associates.

Seim also began sending him her Social Security retirement benefits and pension.

The scammer also had Seim pawn electronic equipment he mailed to her, and she sent the money back.

Seim also began receiving MoneyGram wire transfers from people she did not know, depositing counterfeit and stolen checks, allowing the scammer to transfer stolen money to her, and accepting unemployment benefits for people she did not know.

Seim also deposited a $100,000 check stolen in a romance fraud scheme.

Officials say Seim continued to give the scammer money, despite warnings from wire transfer agencies, law enforcement officials, bank officials, and even though her financial accounts were forcibly closed.

Between June 2014 and February 2021, Seim tried to conduct transactions between $550,000 and $1,500,000.

81-Year-Old Woman Helped Online Scammers Steal As Much As USD$1.5M

According to the United States Department of Justice:

United States District Court Judge Stephen R. Clark accepted a plea of guilty from Glenda Seim, 81 years old of Kirkwood, Missouri on November 2, 2021 for two counts of identity theft related to her participation as a “money mule” in various fraudulent schemes on behalf of her online romantic interest.  A grand jury in the Eastern District of Missouri previously indicted Seim for the charges.

A “money mule” is a person who receives fraudulently obtained money and merchandise on behalf of a scammer, and then forwards the proceeds to the scammer.

Sometime during 2014, Seim began an online relationship with an individual who claimed to be a United States citizen with business interests in Nigeria. Throughout the years, Seim’s purported romantic interest would ask for her assistance in paying fees, taxes, and penalties to the Nigerian government or his business associates. He claimed that he could not leave Nigeria unless he paid those funds. Despite having never met her romantic interest in person or communicated with him in any form other than texting, Seim began sending him money from her Social Security retirement benefits and pension. He later asked her to pawn electronic equipment that he had others send to her in the mail and forward the funds to him.

Because the return was not as high as he wanted, Seim began participating in other fraudulent schemes including: receiving MoneyGram wire transfers from senders she did not know; depositing counterfeit and fraudulently obtained checks into financial accounts she opened; allowing her romantic interest to fraudulently transfer funds from the financial accounts of various businesses into her financial accounts; and accepting unemployment insurance benefit payments on behalf of individuals she did not know.  A check drawn on the retirement account of a romance fraud victim in the amount of $100,000 was among Seim’s fraudulent deposits. Seim kept a portion of the funds fraudulently obtained before providing the balance to her online romantic partner.

Despite warnings by wire transfer agencies, local police officers, federal law enforcement representatives, and bank representatives and the forced closing of her financial accounts, Seim continued to facilitate the transfer of funds on behalf of her online romantic interest. Between June 2014 and February 2021, Seim attempted to conduct fraudulent transactions between $550,000 and $1,500,000.

Seim is scheduled to be sentenced on February 10, 2022.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service.

This Is A Particularly Sad Case

Glenda was clearly manipulated and controlled by the scammers engineering the romance scam and the subsequent activities.

As we know, romance scams are especially powerful both in their psychology and in the level of manipulation that can be employed against a victim. And while clearly, this victim was warned by authorities, she was powerless to stop. However, instead of a proper psychiatric determination, the government decided to prosecute.

To make a determination from a distance is very hard, but seeing the above video leads to an inescapable conclusion that she still exists in substantial denial. She shows hallmarks of trauma in her demeanor as well.

As we have written about many times, the level of manipulation that victims go through is extraordinary. Significant trauma can result with the ending of a romance scam and it is natural for a victim to avoid that ending by living in a state of denial.


What is especially striking in this case, and in most others of elderly victims that were converted into money mules or even accomplices, is that they did this will under the full control of the criminals. Putting someone like this through a trial and conviction and sentencing is cruel and unnecessary. This is a mental health issue not a criminal justice issue.

In no way do we condone her actions, but these were not the actions of a person who had otherwise led a life of morality and integrity. These were the actions of someone under the control and manipulation of professional criminals focused only on their own gain.

Unfortunately, this is the model that law enforcement is increasingly turning to, to stop money mules. Arresting and prosecuting them, instead of institutional mental healthcare.

As long as there are romance scams, and as long as there are romance scam victims, there will be money mules who live in such denial that they cannot accept reality. But we need to find a better way to end their activities with greater compassion because the difference between a normal scam victim and someone like this is the slimmest of margins.

SCARS Publishing Self-Help Recovery Books Available At

Scam Victim Self-Help Do-It-Yourself Recovery Books

SCARS Printed Books For Every Scam Survivor From SCARS Publishing


Each is based on our SCARS Team’s 32-plus years of experience.

SCARS Website Visitors receive an Extra 10% Discount
Use Discount Code “romanacescamsnow” at Checkout

Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

Go to to learn how

U.S. FTC at and SCARS at
Visit to learn more!