United State District Court has convicted two Nigerians residing in the country for defrauding Americans of over $2 million via an internet romance scam.
The convicts who are Olumide Obidare and Stephen Oseghale were sentenced to 11yrs and 6yrs imprisonment respectively.
According to a statement by the US Department of Justice, the two Nigerians who are both 29-year-old, defrauded their victims by using fake names and stolen identities to engage in business email compromise (BEC) fraud schemes to pursue fraudulent romantic relationships online.
It was learnt that their case was hinged on the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Justice Nancy E. Brasel, on Monday, sentenced Obidare to 132 months (11 years) in prison coupled with three years of regulated release.
The court also ordered him to pay $1,955,507.53 in restitution having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft on March 14, 2022, as announced by US Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
Meanwhile, Oseghale was sentenced to 6 years and six months jail term.
“Oseghale, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, was sentenced on August 16, 2022, to 80 months in prison followed by three years on supervised release and ordered to pay $453,889.27 in restitution,” the statement added.
The statement partly read, “According to court documents, beginning in 2016 through May 2021, Olumide Obidare, 29, and Stephen Oseghale, 29, conspired with each other to use fictitious and stolen identities to engage in business email compromise (BEC) fraud schemes and pursue fraudulent romantic relationships online.
“As part of the scheme, the defendants obtained false identification documents, including passports and driver’s licenses, and used them to open bank accounts at various banks throughout the United States.
“The defendants transferred the proceeds of their online romance fraud scams and BEC schemes to bank accounts under their control. In total, the defendants defrauded victims of approximately $2,114,893.91.
“On March 14, 2022, Obidare pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Earlier today, U.S. District Court by Judge Nancy E. Brasel sentenced Obidare to 132 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $1,955,507.53 in restitution.