A court in the Northern District of Oklahoma, United States, has sentenced a 36-year-old Nigerian, Afeez Adebara, to four years in prison for internet fraud.
Adebara was convicted for managing a group of money launderers in an online romance scam that defrauded multiple victims, including elderly individuals of over $2.5 million across the US.
A statement issued by the US Department of Justice on Saturday said the Nigerian pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on November 3, 2020.
Court’s documents and testimony revealed that between 2017 and November 2019, Adebara and his co-conspirators knowingly concealed the proceeds of a romance scam by moving money between multiple bank accounts opened under various aliases, fake passports, and other fraudulent identification documents to obscure the source of the funds and the identities of accomplices.
The statement read: “Adebara coordinated with overseas co-conspirators who had assumed false identities on online dating websites and social media platforms to defraud victims.
“He opened multiple accounts using fraudulent identities, then provided the account and routing numbers to the overseas co-conspirators. The overseas co-conspirators told victims that they were US residents working or travelling abroad.
“As the online relationships continued, the overseas co-conspirators requested increasingly larger sums of money, with the claimed purpose that the funds were needed to complete business projects or for them to return to the United States.
“The victims were directed by the overseas co-conspirators to send funds to certain bank accounts, with an assurance that the money would purportedly be allocated as needed.”
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