(Last Updated On: April 5, 2022)

Nigerian Nationals Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison

Nigerians Operate ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Worldwide – In the U.S. & Other Countries

In the past, Nigerians were limited to Nigeria & Great Britain, but no longer. However, unlike other criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. enterprises – victims have little to fear from them locally.

Nigerian National Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for a Money LaunderingMoney laundering Money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. Money laundering can be done through various mediums, leveraging a variety of payment vehicles, people and institutions. Conspiracy Related to a Romance ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. and Other FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. Schemes

Convicted After Six-Day Federal Trial; Co-conspirators Convinced Vulnerable Elderly Victims to Send Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to Bank Accounts, Which the Defendant then Helped to Launder

United States Department of Justice Announcement: Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm today sentenced Nigerian national Seun Banjo Ojedokun, age 37, to nine years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for a money laundering conspiracy related to a romance scam and other fraud schemes.  Judge Grimm also ordered Ojedokun to pay $325,100 in restitutionRestitution Restitution is where a court orders the defendant to give up his gains to the claimant (victim). It should be contrasted with Compensation, the law of loss-based recovery, in which a court orders the defendant to pay the claimant for their loss..

Gbenga-Ogundele-and-Moji-Popoola

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner stated, “I hope that this sentence serves as a deterrent to those who, like Ojedokun and his co-conspirators, take advantage of vulnerable and elderly victims across the United States, defrauding them through lies and laundering the funds internationally.  These heartless fraudsters left their victims heartbroken, embarrassed, and financially devastated.  Bringing to justice fraudsters who prey upon the elderly is one of the highest priorities of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners. We will continue our outreach efforts to make the public aware of scams and frauds targeting elderly victims.  I encourage anyone who believes they or someone they know who may be a victim to contact the Elder Fraud Hotline at 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).”

According to the evidence presented at his six-day trial, between 2013 and March 2015, Ojedokun conspired with Gbenga Benson Ogundele, Mukhtar Danjuma Haruna, a/k/a “Mukky,” and others to use money deposited into bank accounts by fraud victims to engage in financial transactions in order to promote the fraud scheme and conceal the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the fraud proceeds. Ojedokun was in Nigeria when he was committing these crimes.  Law enforcement was able to arrest him when he came to the United States to attend school here.

According to evidence presented at trial, members of the conspiracy searched online dating websites to initiate romantic relationships with vulnerable men and women.  They phoned, e-mailed, texted and used Internet chat messenger services to form romantic relationships with the victims, who lived throughout the United States.

Specifically, witnesses testified that members of the conspiracy used false stories and promises to convince the many victims to provide money to the conspirators, including fake hospital bills, plane trips to visit the victims, problems with overseas businesses, and foreign taxes.  Ogundele and other conspirators opened bank accounts, called “drop accounts,” in order to receive millions of dollars from the victims.  Testimony at trial showed that victims provided money to the conspirators as a result of the false stories and promises, either depositing money directly into drop accounts controlled by the conspirators, or by checks sent to the conspirators.  The loss to the eight victims who testified at trial was well over $1 million and the overall total loss was substantially higher.

In addition, the evidence at trial showed that the conspirators engaged in other types of fraud, including a fraudulent employment scamEmployment Scam Bogus job postings, recruitment emails and online ads - often illegally using legitimate company names – are all tools scammers use to defraud people seeking employment. Always be suspicious of quick offers with high salaries or pre-payment requests for coaching, training or certifications, and never share personal information until you're certain a job posting is legitimate. Many employment scams also offer advanced payment for supplies. These checks will often bounce, costing you money. in which the victim was led to believe she had been hired by a company, and was instructed to deposit the proceeds of a fraudulent check into a drop account controlled by the conspirators.

According to the evidence, Ojedokun, Ogundele, Haruna, and their co-conspirators laundered money received from the fraud victims by buying used cars and shipping them to Nigeria, among other methods.  As part of the fraud schemes, Ojedokun and his co-conspirators transmitted and used images of financial transactions, including bank deposit receipts and wire transfer forms, as proof that a deposit of fraud money had been made by a victim.

Ogundele, age 61, formerly of Laurel, Maryland, was convicted in 2016 after a 17-day trial, of conspiracies to commit money laundering and wire fraud, as well as aggravated identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources., and was sentenced to 234 months in federal prison.  Haruna, age 46, of Nigeria, remains a fugitive and charges against him are still pending.  In addition to Ogundele, eight other defendants were convicted for their roles in the fraud scheme and were sentenced to between a year and a day and 234 months in federal prison.

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. for its work in the investigation.  Mr.  Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas P. Windom, who prosecuted the case.

TAGS: SCARS, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Scams, Scammers, Fraudsters, Cybercrime, Crybercriminals, Romance Scams, Scam Victims, Online Fraud, Online Crime Is Real Crime, Scam Avoidance, Ojedokun, Gbenga Benson Ogundele, Mukhtar Danjuma Haruna, a/k/a “Mukky, Nigerian Scammers, Sentenced to Prison, U.S. Department of Justicce, FBI

Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

U.S. FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. at www.Anyscams.com

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By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.

A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
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