34-year-old Nigerian risk going to jail in US over fraud
A combination of Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations, in the United States of America, have arrested and charged a 34-year-old Nigerian, Oluwaseyi Akinyemi over an alleged $474,145.07 fraud.
It was gathered that Akinyemi is a member of a fraud group (the AFG), a group of Nigerian nationals who engaged in a social media-based advanced fee fraud schemes targeting elderly individuals.
The AFG members are said to have perpetrated a financial scheme in which they created fictitious social media accounts to encourage elderly victims to send cash to cover “taxes” or “fees” in order to receive substantial financial awards.
Akinyemi was arraigned on Friday before a Baltimore, U.S. Magistrates’ Court for the federal charges of mail fraud, attempted mail fraud, and mail and wire fraud conspiracy, in connections with an advanced fee fraud scheme using social media to target elderly victims.
He is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years for each count of mail fraud, attempted mail fraud and mail fraud conspiracy if convicted.
According to document from United States Department of Justice, the criminal complaint was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; and Interim Chief Hector Velez of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
On April 16, 2019, the Prince George’s County Police Department intercepted a package sent to Akinyemi’s address.
The package was found to contain $30,000 in cash wrapped in money bands and concealed inside two stuffed animal bears. The money was seized by law enforcement, the affidavit alleged.
The affidavit further alleged that from July 10, 2018 to April 29, 2019, Akinyemi was a member of a fraud group (the AFG), a group of Nigerian nationals who engaged in a social media-based advanced fee fraud schemes targeting elderly individuals. Allegedly, AFG members perpetrated a financial scheme in which they created fictitious social media accounts to encourage elderly victims to send cash to cover “taxes” or “fees” in order to receive substantial financial awards.
According to the affidavit, the AFG created fraudulent social media accounts of friends of the victims, making the victims believe they were communicating with individuals they knew and trusted or posed as real or fictitious government agencies offering the victims financial awards in exchange for associated taxes and fees.
The affidavit further alleged that once victims sent funds to individuals in Maryland and elsewhere, AFG members forwarded the victims’ funds to co-conspirators in Nigeria.
The affidavit alleged that Akinyemi is one of the individuals that received victims’ cash or gift card payments through mail services.
At least 13 victims have allegedly been defrauded of a total of $474,145.07 through the AFG scheme, the charge revealed.
Akinyemi on Friday appeared in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Timothy J. Sullivan ordered that Akinyemi be detained.
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