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80 indicted in online fraud scheme that stole millions

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80 indicted in online fraud scheme that stole millions

Unread postby Big Al » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:34 pm

On the CBS news tonight:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/online-fra ... 019-08-22/

Los Angeles — Federal agents are on the hunt for suspected con artists in one of the biggest scams the country has ever seen. At least 80 were indicted in the U.S. and overseas.

Cameras caught nearly a dozen arrests near Los Angeles as part of a worldwide operation to take down the alleged email scammers. Most arrested were Nigerian nationals who allegedly preyed primarily on elderly victims, with low tech offers to send money.

According to the indictments, the schemes used online romances and fake business emails to steal at least $6 million and overall attempted to take an additional $40 million from victims in the U.S. and across the globe.

"Over the years, those fraud schemes have become much more evolved and sophisticated. Nigerian fraud networks now target individuals and businesses alike," said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna.

Federal officials have been sounding the alarm on the increasing fraud, creating public service announcements.

In 2012, Debby Montgomery Johnson fell victim to an online scam involving a Nigerian scheme. It cost her nearly $1 million and much of her life savings.

"He broke my heart, and my head went with it," she said.

Romance scams have become a huge part of online corruption and the crackdown was just a small slice. According to the Federal Trade Commission, victims lost $143 million in romance schemes last year. That's more than any other type of fraud reported to the federal government.
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Re: 80 indicted in online fraud scheme that stole millions

Unread postby firefly » Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:16 pm

https://techcrunch.com/2019/08/22/fbi-a ... mail-scam/

August 22, 2019
Zack Whittaker

The Justice Department has indicted dozens of individuals accused of involvement in a massive business email scam and money laundering scheme.

Thom Mrozek, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Central District of California, confirmed more than a dozen individuals had been arrested during raids on Thursday — mostly in the Los Angeles area. A total of 80 defendants are allegedly involved in the scheme.

News of the early morning raids were first reported by ABC7 in Los Angeles.

The 145-page indictment, unsealed Thursday, said the 80 named individuals are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and bank fraud, as well as aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

Most of the individuals alleged to be involved in the scheme are based in Nigeria, said the spokesperson.

It’s not immediately known if the Nigerian nationals will be extradited to the U.S.; however, a treaty exists between the two nations, making extraditions possible.

U.S. Attorney Nicola Hanna said the case was part of an ongoing effort to protect citizens and businesses from email scams.

“Today, we have taken a major step to disrupt criminal networks that use [business email scam] schemes, romance scams and other frauds to fleece victims,” he said. “This indictment sends a message that we will identify perpetrators — no matter where they reside — and we will cut off the flow of ill-gotten gains.”

These business email scams rely partly on deception and in some cases hacking. Scammers send specially crafted spearphishing emails to their targets in order to trick them into turning over sensitive information about the company, such as sending employee W-2 tax documents so scammers can generate fraudulent refunds, or tricking an employee into making wire transfers to bank accounts controlled by the scammers. More often than not, the scammers use spoofing techniques to impersonate a senior executive over email to trick the unsuspecting victim, or hack into the email account of the person they are impersonating.

The FBI says these impersonation attacks have cost consumers and businesses more than $3 billion since 2015.

Valentine Iro, 31, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, both Nigerian nationals and residents of California, are accused of running the operation, said prosecutors.

The alleged fraudsters are accused of carrying out several hundred “overt” acts of fraud against more than a dozen victims, generating millions of dollars’ worth of fraud over several months. In some cases, the fraudsters would hack into the email accounts of the person they were trying to impersonate to try to trick a victim into wiring money from a business into the fraudster’s bank account.

Iro and Igbokwe were “essentially brokers” of fraudulent bank accounts, prosecutors allege, by fielding requests for bank account information and laundering the money obtained from victims. The two lead defendants are accused of taking a cut of the stolen money. They then allegedly used illicit money exchanges to launder the money.

Several bank accounts run by the fraudsters contained more than $40 million in stolen funds.

The FBI said the agency has seen a large increase in the number of business email scams in the past year targeting small and large businesses, as well as nonprofits.
Help yourself by helping others - report your scammer here.
Google can be your best friend;use it if you have doubts about someone met online. If someone met online only asks for money, no matter what reason, it´s 100% scam.
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Re: 80 indicted in online fraud scheme that stole millions

Unread postby firefly » Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:17 pm

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/23/us/n ... index.html

August 24, 2019

Men in California oversaw a romance scam that targeted women worldwide, feds say

(CNN)In March 2016, a man claiming to be a US Army captain stationed in Syria reached out to a Japanese woman on an international site for digital pen pals.

Within weeks, their relationship grew into an internet romance with the man sending daily emails in English that she translated via Google. The man who called himself Terry Garcia asked for money -- lots of it -- from the woman identified as FK in federal court documents. Over 10 months, she sent him a total of $200,000 that she borrowed from friends, her ex-husband and other relatives to make her love interest happy.
But in reality, Garcia did not exist. It was all an international online scam ran by two Nigerian men in the Los Angeles area with the help of associates in their home country and other nations, federal officials say.
And Thursday, US prosecutors charged 80 people -- mostly Nigerians -- in the widespread conspiracy that defrauded at least $6 million from businesses and vulnerable elderly women.
Of those, 17 people have been arrested in the US so far and federal investigators are trying to track down the rest in Nigeria and other nations.
"We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in US history," US Attorney Nick Hanna said.
A plan to smuggle diamonds
The whirlwind online romance between FK and Garcia was all conducted on a Yahoo email address with no phone calls. Garcia told FK he wasn't allowed to use a phone in Syria, according to federal authorities.
Demands for money started after he told her he'd found a bag of diamonds in Syria and needed her help to smuggle it out of the war-torn nation. He said he was injured and could not do it himself -- and introduced her to associates he said would help facilitate the transfer, court documents allege. One said he was a Red Cross diplomat who could get the diamonds shipped to FK, court documents show.
Shortly after, another man who claimed to work for a shipping company asked FK for money to ensure the package was not inspected at customs, the complaint alleges. Requests for additional money kept coming, with the fraudsters citing different reasons each time on why the package was stuck at customs.
"FK estimates that she made 35 to 40 payments over the 10 months that she had a relationship with Garcia. During that time, the fraudster(s) emailed her as many as 10 to 15 times each day, and Garcia was asking her to make the payments, so she kept paying to accounts in Turkey, the UK and the US," the federal criminal complaint says.
The loss of money has left FK angry and depressed, authorities said. "She began crying when discussing the way that these losses have affected her," the criminal complaint says.
17 arrested and dozens on the run
The scams were not just limited to romance, Hanna said. They included business schemes where fraudsters hack escrow company email systems, impersonate employees and direct payments that funnel money back to themselves.
"In some cases, the victims thought they were communicating with US servicemen stationed overseas, when in fact, they were emailing with con men," Hanna said. "Some of the victims in this case lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in this way."
Of the 80 people charged, federal authorities arrested 14 people mostly in Los Angeles, the local US Attorney's Office said Thursday. At least three other defendants were already in custody. The remaining suspects live in other countries, mainly in Nigeria, and investigators said they'll work with the respective governments to extradite them.
How the scam worked
Investigators detailed an intricate scam traced to two key suspects who oversaw the fraudulent transfer of at least $6 million and the attempted theft of an additional $40 million.
Once co-conspirators based in Nigeria, the United States and other countries persuaded victims to send money under false pretenses, the two Nigerian men who lived in Southern California coordinated the receipt of funds, the indictment says.
The two men provided bank and money-service accounts that received funds obtained from victims and also ran the extensive money-laundering network, the complaint alleges.
The two men were arrested Thursday. All defendants will face charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft. Some also will face fraud and money laundering charges.
Paul Delacourt of the FBI's Los Angeles warned people to be careful as romance scams escalate nationwide. The Federal Trade Commission has said scams that prey on vulnerable people cost Americans more money than any other fraud reported to the agency last year. More than 21,000 people were conned into sending $143 million in such schemes in 2018 alone, it reported.
"Billions of dollars are lost annually, and we urge citizens to be aware of these sophisticated financial schemes to protect themselves or their businesses from becoming unsuspecting victims," Delacourt said.
Help yourself by helping others - report your scammer here.
Google can be your best friend;use it if you have doubts about someone met online. If someone met online only asks for money, no matter what reason, it´s 100% scam.
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Re: 80 indicted in online fraud scheme that stole millions

Unread postby Big Al » Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:01 pm

Indictment here:
http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/ ... tment.html

VALENTINE IRO,
aka "Iro Enterprises,"
aka "Valentine Obinna I ro ,"
aka " Obinna Iro,"
aka " Obinna Nassa,"

CHUKWUDI CHRI STOGUNUS IGBOKWE,
aka " Christogunus C. Igbokwe,"
aka " Chris Kudon,"
aka "Atete,"
aka "Still Kudon,"

JERRY ELO IKOGHO ,
aka "J Man,"

IZUCHUKWU KINGSLEY UMEJESI,
aka " Kingsley Umejesi, "
aka "Armeni an Man,"
aka "Kingsley LA,"
aka "I zuking Aka Aku,"

ADEGOKE MOSES OGUNGBE ,
aka "P & P Motors,"
aka "Pp, "

ALBERT LEWIS CATHEY,
aka "Alb, "
aka "Abert Jag,"
aka "Al,"

TITYAYE MARINA MANSBANGURA,
aka "Tityaye Igbokwe,"
aka "Marina Mansour,"
aka "Marina Mansaray,"
aka “Marina Tityaye Mans Bangura,”

CHUKWUDI COLLINS AJAEZE,
aka “Thank You Jesus”

EKENE AUGUSTINE EKECHUKWU,
aka “Ogedi Power,”
aka “Power,”

CHUKS EROHA,
aka “Chuks Nassa Iro,”
aka “Nassa,”
aka “Prince Chuddy,”
aka “Nurse Chuddy,”

COLLINS NNAEMEKA OJIMBA,
aka “Collins Emeka Ojimba,”
aka “Ojimba Collins,”
aka “Charly.Africa,”

FNU LNU,
aka “Xplora G,”

UCHENNA OCHIAGHA,
aka “Urch Agu,”
aka “Advanced Mega Plus Ltd,”

NNAMDI THEOJOSEPH DURU,
aka “Duru Theo Joseph Nnamdi,”
aka “Williams High School,”
aka “Ifytyns,”

ERICSON UCHE OFORKA,
aka “Oforka,”
aka “Eric Oforka,”

MARK IFEANYI CHUKWUOCHA,
aka “Mark Iheanyi Chukwuocha,”
aka “Chukwu Mark,”
aka “Markife,”

AUGUSTINE NNAMDI,
aka “Nnamdi Augustine,”
aka “Jazz,”

CHIEMEZIE CHRISTOPHER CHILAKA,
aka “Fanta,”

CHARLES OHAJIMKPO,
aka “Giggs,”
aka “Ryan Giggs,”
aka “Charles,”

STANLEY UGOCHUKWU UCHE,
aka “Ugo Law,”
aka “Uche Stanley,”
aka “He is risen.Happy Easter!,”

CHIKA AUGUSTINE ODIONYENMA,
aka “Tony Augustin Odionyenma,”
aka “Chika Tony,”
aka “CTA Finance Source Intl,”

PASCHAL CHIMA OGBONNA,
aka “Chima,”
aka “Paschal,”

SAMUEL NNAMDI ONWUASOANYA,
aka “Sammy Lee Nnamdi,”
aka “Onwuasoanya Samuel Nnamdi,”
aka “Enugu Ogo,”

MACWILLIAM CHINONSO CHUKWUOCHA,
aka “ChiBoy,”

EMMANUEL ONYEKA UZOKA,
aka “Emmanuel Mansion,”
aka “Mansion,”
aka “Son of God,”
aka “Ezirim Uzoma,”

JOSHUA ANIEFIOK AWAK,
aka “Joe Awk,”
aka “Kwee Tin Law,”

GEORGE UGOCHUKWU EGWUMBA,
aka “George Ugo,”
aka “Ugo Aunty Scholar,”

UCHECHUKWU SOLOMON EZIRIM,
aka “Uche Nwanne,”
aka “Uche Ezirim,”

AUGUSTINE IFEANYI OKAFOR,
aka “Zero,”
aka “St.Austine,”
aka “Austine,”
aka “Ifeanyichukwu Okafor,”

FNU LNU,
aka “Okay Sam Mal,”

LESLIE N. MBA,
aka “Mystical,”
aka “Nwachinemere Leslie,”

OGOCHUKWU INNOCENT IKEWESI,
aka “Ogoo UK,”
aka “Innocent Ikewesi,”

EMMANUEL UZOMA OGANDU,
aka “Nwachinaemere,”
aka “Uzoma,”

AMARACHUKWU HARLEY ANYANWU,
aka “GodisGod,”
aka “War B,”

BRIGHT IFEANYI AZUBUIKE,
aka “Bright Bauer Azubuike,”
aka “Ifeanyi Jnr,”

EMEKA MOSES NWACHUKWU,
aka “All Man,”
aka “Omalitoto,”

FNU LNU,
aka “Donatus Izunwanne,”
aka “Izunwanne Donatus Chibuikem,”
aka “Deworlddonmax,”

CHINWENDU KENNETH OSUJI,
aka “Father,”

EUSEBIUS UGOCHUKWU ONYEKA,
aka “Ugo UK,”
aka “sly19 sly,”

CHIDI ANUNOBI,
aka “Anunobi Chidi,”
aka “Chidioo,”

ANTHONY NWABUNWANNE OKOLO,
aka “Eric West,”
aka “Erci West,”
aka “Code,”

OBINNA CHRISTIAN ONUWA,
aka “Papa Chukwuezugo,”
aka “Obinna Onuwa Abala,”
aka “Obyno Abala,”

CHIJIOKE CHUKWUMA ISAMADE,
aka “Mr CJ,”
aka “CJ,”

LINUS NNAMDI MADUFOR,
aka “Madufor Nnamdi,”

CHRYSAUGONUS NNEBEDUM,
aka “Cris,”

UGOCHUKWU OKEREKE,
aka “Blade,”
aka “Kingsly Cris,”
aka “Okereke Ugochukwu,”

FIDEL LEON ODIMARA,
aka “Fiedel Odimara,”
aka “Ndaa,”
aka “Dee Dutchman,”

KINGSLEY CHINEDU ONUDOROGU,
aka “OBJ,”

DESSI NZENWAH,
aka “Desmond Sage,”
aka “Des Nzenwa,”
aka “Saga Lounge,”

CHIMAROKE OBASI,
aka “Chima Russia”

JAMES CHIGOZIE AGUBE,
aka “Smart,”
aka “Smart Agube,”
aka “Smart Chigozie Agube”

CHIMAOBI UZOZIE OKORIE,
aka “Omaobi,”
aka “Mobility,”

OGOCHUKWU OHIRI,
aka “Ogomegbulam Ohiri,”
aka “Ologbo,”

KENNEDY CHIBUEZE UGWU,
aka “Kennedy David,”

IFEANYICHUKWU OLUWADAMILARE AGWUEGBO,
aka BO$$ IFF

VICTOR IFEANYI CHUKWU
aka “Ifeannyi Soccer,”
aka “Vic Chux,”

CHIDI EMMANUEL MEGWA,
aka “Cantr,”
aka “Canta Jr.,”

PRINCEWILL ARINZE DURU,
aka “Arnzi Prince Will,”
aka “Arinze,”

DESMOND IWU,
aka “Desmond Chigozie Iwu,”
aka “Lalaw,”
aka “Odo Desmond,”

ONYEKA VINCENT CHIKA,
aka “Chyco,”
aka “Chika Ejima,”
aka “Vincent Chika Onyeka,”

IFEANYI KINGSLEY MEZIENWA,
aka “Ifeanyi Ali,”
aka “Ifeanyichukwu Mezienwa,”

VICTOR UCHENNA AGUH,
aka “Orch Sod,”
aka “Uche SP,”
aka “Rich Homie Urch,”

KEVIN AMARACHI ESHIMBU,
aka “Humble,”
aka “Humble Amarachukwu,”
aka “Dato Humble,”

VITALIS KELECHI ANOZIE,
aka “Kelechi Vitalis Anozie,”
aka “Kelechi Anozieh,”
aka “Pastor Kel Anozie,”
aka “Pastor Kc,”
aka “Choice,”

WILLIAMS OBIORA AGUNWA,
aka “Don Williams,”

GEORGE CHIMEZIE DIKE,
aka “Chimekros,”
aka “Slim Dad...No...1,”

MUNACHISO KYRIAN UKACHUKWU,
aka “Muna,”

NWANNEBUIKE OSMUND,
aka “Osmund Nwannebuike,”
aka “Olivite,”
aka “Nikky Bro.,”

CHIDIEBERE FRANKLIN NWANGWU,
aka “Frank Chidi,”
aka “Franklin Nwangwu,”
aka “Agogo,”

DAMIAN UCHECHUKWU AJAH,
aka “Uche Ajah,”
aka “Ajah Damian Uchechukwu,”
aka “Uchechukwu Demian Ajah,”

EMEKA P. EJIOFOR,
aka “Ejiofor Emeka,”

LAWRENCE CHUKWUMA UBASINEKE,
aka “Ubasineke Chuks,”
aka “Chukwuma Ubasineke,”

CHINEDU BRIGHT IBETO,
aka “Doggy,”
aka “Doggy Lucino,”

VALENTINE AMARACHI NWANEGWO,
aka “Satis,”
aka “Satis Amarachi Satis,”

EMMANUEL CHIDIEBERE DIKE,
aka “Emmanet,”

JEREMIAH UTIEYIN EKI,
aka “Uti,”

CHINAKA DAVIDSON IWUOHA,
aka “Tmrw Afrika Will Wake Up,”
aka “Cookie,”
aka “All Africa Media Network,”

CHIMA DARLINGTON DURU,
aka “Kajad,”
aka “Kajad Jesus,”

IKENNA CHRISTIAN IHEJIUREME,
aka “Piper,”
aka “Am Happy!,”

OBI ONYEDIKA MADEKWE,
aka “Odu Investment,”
"Look for the lies."
Being Blackmailed? Go here and do this first: https://blackmailscams.com/
The information you supply can help others from becoming Victims.
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