Two Nigerians jailed over $2 million internet fraud in US

Two Nigerian men residing in the United States have been sentenced to prison for defrauding Americans of over $2 million via an internet romance scam.

Both convicts bagged a combined 17 years and six months jail term.

This is coming barely 72 hours that the US declared wanted a 29-year-old Nigerian, Chidozie Collins Obasi for defrauding the New York State of $30 million over the COVID-19 ventilators scam.

According to a press release by the US Department of Justice, the two Nigerians Olumide Obidare and Stephen Oseghale defrauded their victims by using fake names and stolen identities to engage in business email compromise (BEC).

They are both 29-year-old who duped their victims through BEC fraud schemes to pursue fraudulent romantic relationships online.

It was learned that this case was hinged on the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

A US District Court Judge, 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.

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 parties transferred the proceeds of their online romance fraud scams and BEC schemes to bank accounts under their control. In total, the victims defrauded victims of approximately $2,114,893.91.

“On March 14, 2022, Oidare pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Earlier today, US 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.

Meanwhile, Oseghale has been sentenced a month earlier on 16th August 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.

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