New York, United States - The United States Department of Justice has charged 11 Nigerians with conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
A statement released by the agency on Wednesday, October 13, indicates that over 50 victims sent more than $9 million (N3,697,295,072.39) to the defendants through online fraud schemes.
Nine of the suspects were arrested on Wednesday and dragged to court in the Southern District of New York. One suspect was arrested in the Southern District of Texas and was also taken to the federal court in the district while the remaining one remains at large.
How the fraud was perpetrated
The statement explained that the victims were defrauded in one of two ways.
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In some instances, business email compromise fraud schemes were used to trick businesses into transferring funds to bank accounts.
In other instances, romance scams were used, primarily through electronic messages sent via email, text messaging, social media, or online dating websites, to deceive the victims, the statement noted.
While the statement did not describe the suspects as Nigerians, their names gave them out.
The suspects are:
- Adebayo John (32)
- Oluwadamilola Akinpelu (26)
- Kazeem Raheem (29)
- Morakinyo Gbeyide (39)
- Warris Adenuga (26)
- Lateef Goloba (27)
- Samsondeen Goloba (29)
- Olawale Olaniyan (41)
- Olawoyin Peter Olarewaju (34)
- Emmanuel Oronsaye-Ajaye (30)
- Smart Agunbiade (28)
Suspects innocent until proven guilty
Meanwhile, the statement highlighted the charges prefered against the suspects. Some of the offences carry a maximum sentence of 20 years while others carry up to 30 years.
However, the US Department of Justice noted in the statement that the maximum potential penalties mentioned are for informational purposes only, adding that any sentencing of the suspects would be determined by a judge.
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It also added indictments are mere allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
US govt gathers 6,700-page documentary evidence for Abba Kyari’s case
In other news, the United States government has gathered over 2,700 electronic files as part of the evidence for trial in the $1.1million fraud case involving a top Nigerian police officer, Abba Kyari.
A court document also reportedly shows other sets of investigative reports and “new discoveries” including documents obtained from foreign law enforcement agencies with over 6,700 pages that are being processed by prosecutors.
It was gathered that the parties jointly filed the application on Friday, September 24, citing various reasons for asking for a trial postponement. The defence lawyers reportedly asked for additional time to prepare for the case while the US prosecutors also asked for more time to process troves of documents, including those obtained from foreign countries.
Source: Legit.ng News