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Ten men have been charged with conspiring to launder illegal proceeds that were fraudulently obtained as a result of Nigerian romance scam operation targeting multiple victims. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in October and unsealed today after seven suspects were apprehended in early morning operations executed by the FBI in three states.
Federal grand jury indicts nigerian man for role in business e-mail compromise scheme that caused attempted $ million loss to u.s. companies
Five defendants were arrested in Norman, Oklahoma, one defendant was arrested in Brooklyn, New York, and one defendant was arrested in Long Beach, California. Three other defendants remain at large. The indictment alleges that sincethe co-conspirators concealed the proceeds of romance scam operations by moving money between and among multiple bank s that were opened using fraudulent identity documents to obscure the source of the funds and the identities of the co-conspirators.
Investigators identified at least three victims of the alleged romance scams in Seminole, Florida, Centerville, Ohio, and Pryor, Oklahoma.
The indictment alleges the co-conspirators coordinated with unknown individuals overseas who had assumed false identities on online dating websites and social media platforms with the intent to defraud victims. The individual told the victims they were U. In fact, the investigation revealed that these individuals were located in Nigeria.
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As the relationships continued, the requests would develop into increasingly larger sums of money, with the claimed purpose that the funds were needed to complete overseas projects or to return to the United States. The indictment alleges that, once the victims sent funds, the defendants funneled the money to s that they operated. These s were allegedly opened under various aliases in order to obscure the source of the fraudulently obtained funds.
In a further attempt to conceal the source of the money, the co-conspirators also purchased salvaged vehicles and car parts to export overseas, usually to Nigeria, the indictment alleges. This indictment is part of an ongoing national effort by the Department of Justice to address online fraud schemes often based out of Nigeria that target U.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations.
The defendants are pd innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Justice News Department of Justice.
Wednesday, November 13, The following individuals have been charged in the case: Afeez Olajide Adebara, 34, U. Attachment s :. Download Adebara et al Indictment. Topic s :.
Component s :. Criminal Division. Criminal - Criminal Fraud Section.
Press Release :.