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US Department of Justice Charges 11 Nigerians with Online Fraud and Money Laundry

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US Department of Justice Charges 11 Nigerians with Online Fraud and Money Laundry
US Department of Justice Charges 11 Nigerians with Online Fraud and Money Laundry

11 Nigerians were on Wednesday October 13, indicted by the U.S. Justice Department on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, in connection with their involvement in laundering millions of dollars in proceeds derived from business email compromises and romance fraud schemes.

Charges against the suspects identified as Adedayo John, Oluwadamilola Akinpelu, Kazeem Raheem, Morakinyo Gbeyide and Warris Adenuga a.k.a Blue, Smart Agunbiade, Lateef Goloba, Samsondeen Goloba, Olawale Olaniyan, Olawoyin Peter Olanrewaju and Emmanuel Oronsaye-Ajayi, were announced after their indictment were unsealed by Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Patrick J. Freaney, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the United States Secret Service.

The defendants were accused of allegedly utilizing a myriad of fraud schemes, including romance scams and business email compromises, to defraud over 50 victims in excess of $9 million.

In some instances, business email compromise fraud schemes were used to trick businesses into transferring funds to bank accounts the victims believed were under the control of legitimate recipients of the funds as part of normal business operations, when in fact the bank accounts were under the control of the Defendants or their co-conspirators.

In other instances, romance scams were used, primarily through electronic messages sent via email, text messaging, social media, or online dating websites, to deceive victims, many of whom were vulnerable older men and women into believing they were in romantic relationships with fake identities, and then using false pretenses to cause the victims to transfer funds to bank accounts controlled by the Defendants or their co-conspirators.