3 Nigerian Scammers Slammed 235 Years Jail Time in America
There was bad news for three Nigerian scammers in the United States after a court in Mississippi hit them with huge prison sentences for befriending women and making tens of millions of dollars from their schemes.
The suspects – Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan, 30, Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, 31 and Femi Alexander Mewase, 45, got 95 years, 115 years and 25 years in the slammer for their racket that dates back to 2001, the News Agency of Nigeria writes.
They were among six Nigerians extradited from South Africa by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2015 to face charges of running a series of scams against gullible Americans.
Friday’s sentencing comes after a court in the Southern District of Mississippi in February found them all guilty of crimes including mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud and theft of government property.
The U.S. Department of Justice claims the scammers were involved in multiple internet fraud schemes, resulting in losses in tens of millions.
Ayelotan and Raheem were also found guilty of conspiracies to commit bank fraud and money laundering.
According to the authorities, their Modus Operandi included establishing a relationship with women on dating sites and then either getting them to send money or having them participate in fraud schemes, usually without the victim’s knowledge.
These unsuspecting women have over the years helped the scammers to cash counterfeit checks and money orders; use stolen credit card details to purchase goods; and use stolen personal information to take over victims’ bank accounts, among others.
21 defendants have so far been charged in the ongoing case, 12 of whom have pleaded guilty to charges involving conspiracy and 11 of whom have been sentenced.
A growing number of Africans have been caught in the increased menace of internet fraud in recent times, with two Nigerians nabbed for a $10m scam in Canada, while a Ghanaian man was busted for selling rice as iPhones in the North American country.
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