FBI busts seven Nigerian pickers in U.S. for laundering $8 million scam proceeds to Yahoo Boys in Lagos

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations filed charges of wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy against seven Nigerian men who acted as middlemen to receive $8 million proceeds of romance scams from the victims of Nigerian Internet fraudsters infamously called Yahoo Boys.

According to U.S. prosecutors, between March 2018 and June 2019, the septet collaborated with fraudsters based in Nigeria to execute romance scams across America, targeting lonely citizens who were vulnerable to falling for the schemes.

Using fake attractive personas online, the scammers lured vulnerable women into romantic relationships and began extorting them under the pretext of various financial needs like unprecedented medical illnesses and so on, the indictment sheet said.

The accused are 39-year-old Bolanle Christina Odeyale; Oghenemine Jeffrey Agbroko, 34; Charles Owhonigho Emurotu, 40; Jimmy Iwezu, 44, Lori Tsoritse, 38; Rukevwe Solomon Ologban, 44 and Christopher Onyedikachi Okereke, 38.

A grand jury indicted the seven defendants on February 14 after the FBI established that numerous elderly citizens had lost their life savings to the scam.

The indictment said the defendants colluded with the “Utah Money Transmitters” to facilitate the fraud money transfers outside the U.S.

“The defendants either helped the Utah Money Transmitters source opportunities to work with Yahoo boys or helped them to transmit the fraud proceeds from the District of Utah to other places within the United States or abroad,” stated the U.S. attorney’s office.

The accused opened new U.S. bank accounts to receive the proceeds of fraud from victims, took a cut of the fraud and sent the balance to the Yahoo Boys in Nigeria.

“By operating in the District of Utah, they opened accounts at United States financial institutions to be used to collect money from victims and to distribute money to the coconspirators, to conceal the ultimate destination of the funds and the Yahoo boys’ location and identities,” stated the attorney’s office.

– Peoples Gazette

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