US Officials Arrest Nigerians Indicted For Internet Scam

Clay Curtis
August 24, 2019

The United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said on Thursday that it had arraigned scores of suspected fraudsters behind a variety of scams and online fraud cases.

One woman in Japan fell victim to the scammers after becoming a digital pen pal on an worldwide social network. They also allegedly used illicit money exchanges to launder the money. The man who called himself Terry Garcia asked for money - lots of it - from the woman identified as FK in federal court documents.

Six defendants believed to be in the country are fugitives, while the dozens of remaining defendants live in other nations, mainly Nigeria.

USA authorities have announced charges against 80 people, majority Nigerians, in a wide-ranging fraud and money laundering operation that netted millions of dollars from victims of internet con jobs.

Investigators detailed an intricate scam traced to two key suspects who oversaw the fraudulent transfer of at least $6 million and the attempted theft of an additional $40 million.

The Sun reports that Abike Dabiri-Erewa said this following one of the largest indicted of fraud and money laundering by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States in which several Nigerians were named. "Well, over the years, those fraud schemes have evolved and become much more complex and sophisticated". The U.S. Attorney's Office says Thursday most of the defendants are Nigerian nationals.

According to the prosecutors, the defendants pursued a wide range of schemes, including preying on businesses by hacking into their accounts and representing themselves as vendors who were owed money.

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Additionally, Iro, Igbokwe, Ikogho, Ogungbe and three other defendants -Izuchukwu Kingsley Umejesi, 30, of Los Angeles, Tityaye Marina Mansbangura, 33, of Palmdale, and Obi Madekwe, 31, of Nigeria - are charged with operating illegal money transmitting businesses. 80 people were charged with participating in a conspiracy to steal millions through a range of fraud schemes and money laundering.

Iro and Igbokwe essentially were brokers of fraudulent bank accounts.

When stolen funds were withdrawn as cash, the defendants frequently used illicit money exchangers to move funds overseas, generally avoiding transferring the funds directly through banking institutions, the indictment alleges. Eventually, the funds would be sent to Nigeria.

'F.K. was and is extremely depressed and angry about these losses, ' the federal complaint states.

He told her they couldn't talk by phone because he wasn't allowed to use one while on military duty in the Middle-East.

"In some cases, the victims thought they were communicating with U.S. servicemen stationed overseas, when in fact, they were emailing with con men", Hanna said. She was told that she'd need to pay hefty fees for a "non-inspection tag", a "final accreditation fee" and a "diplomatic consignment tax".

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