By Salim Yunusa
Thirty-five Nigerians have been arrested in the United States by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, over their involvement in a $117million fraud.
Speaking at a press conference in Texas on Thursday, Acting U.S. Attorney, Prerak Shah, said the suspects allegedly defrauded over 100 people nationwide.
She disclosed that the suspects were accused of grossly conducting romance schemes to defraud and steal from unsuspecting older American adults.
The US Attorney added that the suspects used fake names on dating sites to prey on their targets including widowed and divorced, saying that they would face indictment for money laundering and wire scam.
She said the victims were made to build trust with the scammers as they would pose interest by sharing a fake snivel story and then requesting a large sum of money.
Shah encourages victims to come forward and reassures them that the scams are more common than one might think, disclosing that more than 20,000 people lost $600million in romance scams in 2020.
The US Attorney disclosed that eleven of the arrests were made in the Northern District of Texas while the remaining 24 were made in the Eastern District of Texas.
Identities of the Nigerians charged in the Northern District of Texas were;
David Animashaun, 38 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy.
Oluwalobamise Michael Moses, 40 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy
Irabor Fatarr Musa, 51 – arrested in the Eastern District of Texas, charged by the Northern District of Texas wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy
Ijeoma Okoro, 31 – arrested in DFW, wire fraud conspiracy fraud, money laundering conspiracy
Chukwemeka Orji, 36 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy
Emanuel Stanley Orji, 35 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy
Frederick Orji, 37 – arrested in Dallas, charged with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy
Uwadiale Esezobor, 36 – arrested in Lubbock, charged with mail & wire fraud conspiracy
Victor Idowu, 36 – arrested in Los Angeles, charged with mail & wire fraud conspiracy
Afeez Abiola Alao, 37 – wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy
Ambrose Sunday Ohide, 47 – wire fraud conspiracy.
Shah said the suspects face up to 20 years in federal prison on the wire fraud conspiracy counts and up to 10 years in federal prison on the money laundering conspiracy counts.
Source: Naija News