United States Department of Justice has charged 11 Nigerians for conspiracy to commit money laundering, commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The eleven Nigerians were on Wednesday October 13, indicted in connection with their involvement in laundering millions of dollars in proceeds derived from business email compromises and romance fraud schemes.
The suspects were 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,
The charges 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.