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U.S. Attorney’s Office sues Nigerian involved in $1m online romance scam


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UNITED State (U.S)–based Nigerian, Arinze Micheal Ozor, has been charged for money laundering conspiracy of nearly $1 million.

Ozor had pleaded guilty to the charge, having been accused of using fake passports to facilitate the act, the US officials said in a statement.

Aged 36, Ozor, used at least two passwords to open a “drop account” and raked over $976,000 from compromised business email and put it in those accounts, the U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland said.

In a report by the Voice of America, VOA, Ozor used a Ghanaian passport to open five bank accounts and a Beninese passport to open three additional accounts.

Subsequently, the heisted funds were sent to other suspects involved in the schemes.

The U.S-based Nigerian is expected to be sentenced in May, and could spend up to 10 years in prison, the VOA reported.

However, there was no recorded opinion of the attorney representing Ozor, The Baltimore Sun reported.

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In 2019, the United States Department of Justice recorded a massive international fraud and money laundering conspiracy which indicted over 80 defendants, mostly Nigerians.

The indictment alleges that the 80 defendants and others used various online fraud schemes – including business email compromise (BEC) frauds, romance scams, and schemes targeting the elderly – to defraud victims out of millions of dollars,” the report stated.

In August 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI had arrested Forbes under 30 influential Nigerian, Obinwanne Okeke popularly known as Invictus Obi.

Obi was apprehended for money laundering to the tune $12m fraud.

In September 2019, seven Nigerian nationals were charged in connection with their roles in expansive online fraud schemes targeting individuals and businesses in the US.

In November 2019, Olu Victor Alonge, alongside six other Nigerians, were sentenced for their role in a multi-year wire fraud scheme that targeted users of American dating websites, inciting a total loss of $1,835,279.

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