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The Nigerians Are Here! But they are being caught!
Owings Mills man goes to jail for laundering money in internet dating scamDating scam Dating scammers or love scammers create fake identities on dating apps and social media to coax you into fake online relationships. They often quickly move to personal channels such as phone or email, using your trust to acquire money or personal info, or help you hide their criminal activities. You'll probably never meet them in person. This is a relationship scam.
On Thursday, August 10th, 2017, U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Olufemi Wilfred Williams, of Owings Mills, to four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit 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. arising from a scheme to defraud vulnerable victims of millions of dollars.
Judge Grimm also ordered Williams to forfeit and pay 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. of more than $375,000.
Williams previously pleaded guilty to the charge on February 21, 2017.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to court documents, from January 2011 to May 18, 2015, Williams searched online dating websites to initiate romantic relationships with vulnerable male and female individuals. He phoned, emailed, texted, and used internet chat messenger services to form romantic relationships with the victims, who lived in Maryland and around the country.
Williams then used false stories and promises to convince the victims to provide money to the conspirators, including fake hospital bills, plane trips to visit the victims, problems with overseas businesses, and foreign taxes.
Williams and other conspirators opened bank accounts, called “drop accounts,” in order to receive millions of dollars from the victims.
The victims provided money to Williams and others as a result of the false stories and promises, either depositing money directly into drop accounts controlled by the defendant, or by wire transfers sent to the conspirators.
Williams and his co-conspirators dispersed money received from the victims by transferring funds to other accounts controlled by the conspirators, by obtaining cashier’s checks, and by writing checks to individuals or entities in order to conceal the nature, source, and control of those assets.
The following co-defendants were previously convicted at trial or pleaded guilty:
Gbenga Benson Ogundele, a/k/a “Benson Ogundele,” age 58, of Laurel, Maryland;
Victor Oyewumi Oloyede, age 42, of Laurel
Olusegun Charles Ogunseye, a/k/a “Charles O. Ogunseye,” age 58, of Laurel
Babtunde Emmanuel Popoola, a/k/a “Emmanuel Popoola”
and his sister, “Tunde Popoola, age 34, of Bowie, Maryland
Mojisola Tinuola Popoola, a/k/a “Mojisola Oluwakemi Tin Popoola” and “Moji T. Popoola,” age 42, of Laurel;
Adeyinka Olubunmi Awolaja, Jr., a/k/a “Yinka O. Awolaja, Jr.,” age 34, formerly of New Carrolltown, Maryland;
Olusola Olla, age 50, of Greensboro, North Carolina.
The Maryland 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. Working Group has been working since 2006 to foster cooperation among local, state, federal, and institutional 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. investigators and to promote effective prosecution of identity theft schemes by both state and federal prosecutors.
This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Working Group, demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies to work with financial institutions and businesses to address identity fraud, identify those who compromise personal identity information, and protect citizens from identity theft.
Today’s announcement is part of the efforts undertaken in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov and also report them on www.Anyscam.com
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning 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 and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas P. Windom, Ray D. McKenzie, and Leah Jo Bressack, who are prosecuting the case.
Portions: Fox45 News