No fewer than 35 Nigerians have been arrested by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for $117 Million fraud.
It was gathered that the Nigerians, who were arrested in North Texas, will face indictment for money laundering and wire scam that defrauded over 100 people nationwide.
It was further learnt that the arrested suspects were accused of conducting romance schemes to defraud and steal money from older American adults.
According to the FBI, the defendants used alias names and trolled dating sites like Match.com, ChistianMingle, JSwipe, and PlentyofFish, to prey on vulnerable targets like widowed or divorced.
It added that the victims were made to build trust with the scammers as they would pose interest by sharing a fake snivel story and then request a large sum of money.
The Acting U.S. Attorney, Prerak Shah, while announcing the charges at a press conference, said, “These criminals rely on victims’ isolation, loneliness, and sometimes their grief. The only mistake these victims make is being generous to the wrong people.
“Once they depleted the savings they vanished into thin air.
“Romance scams are often difficult to prosecute because victims are often embarrassed, feel duped, and don’t want to come forward.”
Shah encouraged victims to come forward and reassure them that the scams were more common than one might think — more than 20,000 people lost $600 million in romance scams in 2020.
Eleven of the arrests were made in the Northern District of Texas while 24 arrests were made in the Eastern District of Texas.
Nigerians Charged in the Northern District of Texas are:
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
Ambrose Sunday Ohide, 47 – wire fraud conspiracy