77 suspected Nigerian fraudsters charged over Ksh.460M internet scam
- The suspects laundered the money after receiving it from victims using romance scams and business email compromise claims.
- Most of them reside in Nigeria and coordinated receipt of the funds.
U.S. Federal prosecutors say 80 suspects, most of them Nigerians, have been charged over a widespread conspiracy scamming elderly individuals and businesses out of millions of dollars.
They are facing charges of stealing at least $46 million (Ksh. 460million) through various schemes such as romance scams and business email compromise claims.
“These victims are used primarily as money mules, by allowing their bank accounts to be used to transfer stolen funds,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Paul Delacourt as quoted on ABC7.
CNN reported that law enforcement officers arrested 14 people in the United States on Thursday; 11 from South Carolina.
While announcing a 252-count indictment that was unsealed, the US Attorney in Los Angeles told reporters that the suspects laundered the money after receiving it from their victims.
Premium Times of Nigeria published a list of the 77 suspected Nigerian fraudsters revealing that most of them reside in Nigeria and coordinated receipt of the funds.
According to the Associated Press, Federal authorities cited the case of a Japanese woman, known only as “F.K.” when they announced the indictment of the 80 suspects.
“We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in U.S. history,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna told a news conference. “We are taking a major step to disrupt these criminal networks.”
All defendants will face charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft.
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