Remember thestory a few weeks agoabout the FBI arresting over a dozen Nigerians (aka ‘new Americans’) operating out of the US to steal from unsuspecting Americans and others.
Here is a brief storyfrom Nigerian media about a new bust in the case. It interested me to see that our FBI is working in Africa to find the frauds and crooks who rip-off mostly vulnerable American women.
FBI List: We’ve Arrested Emmanuel Adedeji Oluwatosin, Uncovered N1 Billion In His Account – EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in collaboration with the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation has Emmanuel Adedeji Oluwatosin, one of the 77 Nigerians indicted by the US government over a large-scale scam.
Two cars – Mercedes Benz E550 and Mercedes Benz C450 -, an iPhone, laptops, a modem and SIM cards were seized from his residence.
He was paraded in Sokoto State on Thursday, following his arrest in Kaduna State.
According to the Zonal Head, Abdullahi Lawal, Oluwatosin and his accomplices acquired retirement account information (RAI) and personally identifiable information (PII) of multiple persons which they used to wire funds into newly-created business bank accounts.
The proceeds were then converted to cryptocurrency.
Preliminary investigations, EFCC noted, showed that about N1,437,889,157.15 passed through the suspect’s accounts. [If I did the conversion correctly that should be about $4 million in USD.—ed]
Seventy million naira from that money had been traced, said Lawal as he said efforts were on to recover the money.
Do the math, I think you will see the vast majority of the money will never be recovered.
“We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in U.S. history.”
(US Attorney Nick Hanna)
The FBI announced this week that over a dozen were under arrest in the US and efforts were being made to find additional co-conspirators around the world in fraud schemes involving at least 32 victims.
Justice charges 80 in massive online fraud case linked to Nigerian defendants
The Department of Justice on Thursday unsealed a 252-count federal indictment charging 80 defendants, many of whom are Nigerian nationals, with conspiring to steal millions of dollars through online scams.
The indictment was unsealed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and was made public shortly after authorities arrested 14 of the defendants across the United States, with 11 of these defendants apprehended in the Los Angeles region.The majority of the defendants are outside the country, with many likely in Nigeria.
The defendants involved in the case were charged with attempting to defraud individuals of millions of dollars through the use of business email compromise (BEC) and online romance scams, in addition to other schemes meant to target the elderly.
The investigation is being led by the FBI, with each of the defendants charged with “conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft,” according to Justice Department. Some defendants also face fraud and money laundering charges.
U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna described the scams used by the defendants during a press conference on Thursday, saying that “fraud networks now target individuals and businesses alike.”
“In the BEC scams, the fraudsters will often hack a company’s email system, impersonate company personnel, and direct payments to bank accounts that funnel money back to the fraudsters in Nigeria,” Hanna said. “In the romance scams, victims think they are developing a dating relationship, when in fact they are just being tricked into sending money to the fraudsters.”
Hanna added that “we believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in U.S. history.”
Paul Delacourt, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said during the same press conference that losses involved in this case for victims total around $10 million. He said defendants attempted to obtain $40 million from victims.
There were at least 32 victims in the case, from the United States and other countries including Japan, the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Ukraine, China, Mexico, Germany, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Delacourt said the case began in 2016 after one individual was victimized by the defendants. The two main defendants in the case are Nigerian citizens Valentine Iro and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe.
And, don’t miss the Stars and Stripes story about how some of the crooks pretended to be US military personnel when they scammed hundreds of thousands from lonely women.
I know you are shaking your head and wondering who in their right mind would be so foolish to send money to a stranger they met on the internet. Well, as we have heard in previous postson Nigerian romance scammers, these Nigerian creeps are skilled actors and preying on vulnerable and lonely people seems to come naturally to them.
Keep an eye on your elderly friends and family members and don’t let them fall for these despicable scams.
Editor: As we work on getting this blog and Refugee Resettlement Watch hosted elsewhere there may be a glitch or two along the way. Yesterday that happened with my update on the Kenyan Killer story, see here, where the link did not work.
Well, at least this Liberian didn’t get away with the all too common marriage scam which we have mentioned in a couple of posts lately*** involving men who married, or attempted to marry Americans, in order to stay in the US after initially getting into the country on a visitor visa of some sort. See how he was caught lying……
From Fox News,
Green card scam thwarted by ‘best sex ever’ text that arrived as immigration agent was reviewing phone, prosecutors say
A Liberian soccer player’s attempt to trick U.S. immigration authorities into giving him a green card backfired after an agent in Rhode Island viewing the phone of the woman claiming to be his wife saw an incoming message from another person thanking her for the “best sex ever,” prosecutors say.
Prince Mark Boley, 30, is now facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after being convicted by a federal court this week of lying to immigration officials and providing false information on immigration documents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Rhode Island announced.
The steamy text that sparked an investigation into his behavior came in June 2017, when authorities were questioning the validity of his marriage to a U.S. citizen that occurred a year earlier, the office said. Boley was seeking a green card and the woman he claimed to be his wife allowed an immigration officer to review her phone in hopes to make clear that the two truly were in love.
While the officer was going through messages on her device, a new one popped up – from “Chriss”, complimenting her for the “best sex ever”, the Providence Journal reported.
[….] “At trial, the woman testified that her marriage to Boley was a sham, and that she married Boley solely for the purpose of him obtaining a green card,” the office continued. “She testified that she and Boley did not live together and never had a physical relationship, but that Boley did take steps to create a paper trail that he resided with her, such as having some of his mail sent to her address where he did not live.”
*** Both the Kenyan Killer, Billy Chemirmir, and the Nigerian who brutally murdered the Utah coed either did marry or attempted to marry Americans in order to stay in the country. How many more are out there?
I know it’s hard to believe that there are so many lonely men and women, especially seniors, who fall for on-line dating site scams and actually send money—millions of dollars annually—to people they think they are in love with, but have never met. This storyfrom Axios is about “Scarlet Widow” a Nigerian-headquartered fraud network,
Scarlet Widow: Anatomy of a romance-scam ring
A Nigeria-based romance-scam outfit, dubbed Scarlet Widow in a new report, has been bilking lonelyhearts of their savings since 2015.
Why it matters: In the abstract, people often dismiss email scams as a punchline they are somehow above. In truth, they are a billion-dollar crime paradigm preying on the gullible and savvy alike. And romance scams have particularly tragic dimensions.
Apparently the Nigerians are great actors in addition to being clever scammers.
The moniker “Nigerian scam” is more than a nickname. Agari’s research found the Scarlet Widow group, like 90% of email scams, actually does originate in Nigeria.
But the romance scammers don’t just live in Nigeria.
Here is a storyby reporter Anna Marie Bolton about one such Nigerian scammer (affiliated with Black Axe) from Canada who had been living in Garland, Texas and was found guilty late last year of cheating older lonely women out of life savings.
Florida Jury Finds Nigerian ‘Axemen’ Guilty of Scamming Elderly Women for Millions
While all eyes are on Florida for the recount of the Senate election, a federal jury in Tampa has found Okechuwku “Desmond” Amadi, a Canadian who had been living in Garland, Texas guilty of conspiracy and money laundering. He was caught operating a complex fraud scheme from Garland, via Florida, Canada and Nigeria, that preyed on elderly and divorced women.
The announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Middle District of Florida came Thursday, stating that Amadi faces 60 years in federal prison.
The feds nabbed Amadi in Sept. 2017 as he returned on a flight to JFK International Airport from Nigeria.