Nigeria - 419 Coalition 2013 News on Nigerian Scam / 419 Operations


17 DEC 2013 From the Daily Independent, a Nigerian newspaper, sent in by Ultrascan AGI: EFCC to arraign Ajudua for duping ex-Army chief By Temidayo Akinsuyi/Lagos The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is to arraign Fred Ajudua before a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on February 12, 2014 for allegedly defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, Ishaya Bamaiyi, of about $8.395m. According to EFCC, the accused, along with others, committed the crime between November 2004 and June 2005. The fresh charges dated October 14, 2013 and comprise 13 counts of conspiracy and fraud. Other suspects said to be at large are Alumile Adedeji (a.k.a Ade Bendel) and one Keneth and Princess Hamabon William. Ajudua, along with other suspects, allegedly defrauded Bamaiyi at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, where he and the other fraud suspects were on remand for various crimes. EFCC claimed that the suspects had fraudulently collected the money from Bamaiyi, falsely claiming that it was part of the professional fees charged by Afe Babalola (SAN) to facilitate his release from prison. The anti-graft agency also alleged that Ajudua and others fraudulently claimed that $1m out of the total money collected from Bamaiyi was for financial assistance for the treatment of Justice Olubunmi Oyewole’s father. The suspects were said to have claimed to Bamaiyi that Oyewole’s father was admitted at St. Nicholas Hospital in Lagos and the $1m was meant to assist the judge in treating his father. The arraignment earlier scheduled to come up before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye on Monday failed as Ajudua was absent from court. The defendant’s lawyer, Richard Ahoharuogha, told the court that his client only became aware of the matter on Saturday. The prosecuting counsel, Seidu Atteh, also said it only came to the commission’s knowledge that the matter had been assigned to a judge last Friday. But Ahoharuogha said his client was unable to attend court on Monday because he was ill. The lawyer then sought an adjournment to enable Ajudua to appear before the court. Justice Ipaye then adjourned till February 12 for arraignment, ordering that warrant of production should be served on the prison authority to produce Ajudua at the next hearing date. The offences of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretences were said to be contrary to Sections 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Related Offences Act. No. 13 of 1995 as ammended by Act No. 62 of 1999. http://dailyindependentnig.com/2013/12/efcc-arraign-ajudua-duping-ex-army-chief-2/ ***************************************************** 9 DEC 2013 From the ABA Journal (the Joural of the American Bar Association), sent in by our friends at FraudAid.com and NExT Web Security: Unwitting lawyer is suspended for arranging client loans to secure Nigerian inheritance By Debra Cassens Weiss An Iowa lawyer who believed his client was due to inherit $18.8 million from a long-lost Nigerian cousin has been suspended for tapping clients for loans in a failed effort to reap the windfall. The Iowa Supreme Court suspended lawyer Robert Allan Wright Jr. for a year, according to the Legal Profession Blog, the Business Record and KCCI.com. According to the opinion (PDF) issued Friday, Wright believed his lucky client had to pay $177,660 in Nigerian inheritance taxes and additional cash for an "anti-terrorism certificate" before receiving the money.Wright charged a 10 percent contingency, which would amount to $1.8 million if successful, to help his client obtain the Nigerian inheritance. Wright had solicited more than $200,000 in loans from five current and former clients, promising them they would receive as much as quadruple their investment when the inheritance was obtained, according to the opinion. One provided $7,000, and three others provided $20,000 to $25,000. It's unclear how much the fifth client provided, though he was asked for a loan of $160,000. Wright apparently transferred all of the loan proceeds to the scammers, but his client’s inheritance was not forthcoming. During the course of his work, Wright spoke with people he believed to be lawyers, bankers and even the president of Nigeria. His client traveled to Spain in hopes of securing the inheritance (for an additional fee), said to be stashed in two suitcases in Madrid. The Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board had concluded that Wright "appears to have honestly believed and continues to believe that one day a trunk full of ... one hundred dollar bills is going to appear upon his office doorstep," according to the Iowa Supreme Court decision. The Iowa Supreme Court said Wright should have investigated further. A "cursory Internet search" of the words "anti-terrorism certificate" would have revealed the likely scam, the court said. He also failed to verify the identity of the people he spoke with, and failed to confirm the authenticity of the documents he received, including a will and death certificate. The court also said Wright’s interest in obtaining the contingency was adverse to the interests of the clients who made the loans.The court said Wright is not the first lawyer in the state to become entangled in Nigerian schemes. It also cited as mitigating factors the lawyer’s long history of pro bono and dedication to client service. Wright was represented in the ethics case by Alfredo Parrish, who did not return a call for comment on Friday afternoon. Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/unwitting_lawyer_is_suspended_for_arranging_client_payments_for_nigerian ****************************************** 22 NOV 2013 From DNA India, reporting from Pune, sent in by Ultrascan AGI: Nigerian fraud: Cops blame gullible citizens for rise in cases by Sandip Dighe Beware! Nigerian fraudsters are on the prowl in the city. As many as 15 such cases have been registered in the past 10 months at different police stations across the city. The fraudsters’ modi operandi to dupe people are varied. The Cyber Crime Cell (CCC) officials have once again emphasised the need for awareness to avoid falling for such tricksters. Deputy commissioner of police (cyber) Sanjay Shinde told dna, "Lack of public awareness is one of the major reasons for rise in fraud cases. There are cases where people are duped in a similar fashion more than twice. Without applying for a job in a foreign country, people fall prey to such mails." According to CCC officials, Nigerian fraudsters operate in professional manner. The kingpin mainly works from abroad to evade arrest and uses his network that is operating in different cities. A CCC officer told dna, "We manage to arrest only those who just follow instructions of their bosses and their role in the racket is minor." According to the officer, fraudsters pay attention to the latest market trends and regularly send mails to people. Modus operandi Income Tax: If you get an email asking you to click on a link and get an income tax refund, don’t! Fraudsters are using these to access your bank account. Not only that, they ensure your cellphone is unreachable. Lottery mail: The fraudsters would state that you have won a huge amount of prize money through a lottery. Financial assistant: Taking the identity of an acquaintance and sending a mail saying he or she has been robbed while traveling and needs financial assistance. Job offer: Lure with a fantastic job offer. They promise jobs abroad. Using matrimonial sites: Mailing you, claiming you have received an inheritance or gift. Hacking: They create a replica site or link of the parent site. When you click on the link, your are asked for your username and password. When you uploaded these, they do not go to the concerned company, but to the fraudsters server. Protect yourself If you get an email from a known person’s email address asking you for money, verify it. Ignore the lottery emails. Do not click on links in mails, texts or po ups Do not upload your user name and password on any link sent in a mail or text even if it is from a known company website. If you get an SMS or an email from a bank asking you to upload your username or password, ignore it. Banks never ask for these details. Latest victim A woman who had introduced herself as an American army officer allegedly duped a 61-year-old general manager of a city-based private firm of Rs18.33L under the pretext of marriage. The woman had taken money from the manager for courier charges to send her two billion American dollars that she claimed was in her bank. Anil Manohar Yallapurkar (61) of Mahatma Society files plaint with Kothrud police. Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://www.dnaindia.com/pune/report-nigerian-fraud-cops-blame-gullible-citizens-for-rise-in-cases-1922877 ****************************************** 22 NOV 2013 From the Nigerian newspaper Vanguard, sent in by Ultrascan AGI: 24-yr-old nabbed for defrauding US couple of $42,497 By Evelyn Usman LAGOS Operatives of the Special Fraud Unit, SFU, Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos have arrested a 24-year-old man who posed as a lady to defraud a United States of America couple of $42,497, purportedly for the purchase of a property in Lagos. The suspect, identified as Olafinraye Adedamola, admitted the offence while being paraded yesterday. He was said to have connived with a Malaysian lady to defraud the couple. The Malaysian lady, according to him, was his Facebook friend, adding that he had intended to use the money to further his studies in a tertiary institution. How he was arrested Explaining how the artisan who trained in aluminum works was arrested, spokesperson for the unit, Ngozi Isintume-Agu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said:"An intelligence report dated September 24, 2013 from Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Abuja addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit (SFU) alleged that one Olafinraye Adedamola opened a USD Domiciliary Account No. 273/6980678251/0 with the Demurin, Ketu, Lagos Branch of Sterling Bank Plc and through suspicious circumstances, cumulative sum of USD 42,497 was paid into the account by unsuspecting victims abroad between August 13, 2013 and September 16, 2013." "The suspected illicit inflows were followed by immediate cash withdrawals by the suspect who appeared to have no known affiliation with the international depositors." "SFU operatives swung into action and investigation carried out on the domiciliary account revealed that $18,129.92 is still left in the account and a lien was immediately placed on the account." "The suspect was traced to his house at 7, Agidi Road, Oshogun, Alapere, Ketu, Lagos but he evaded police arrest and his father, a proprietor of a moribund driving school, feigned ignorance of his son’s whereabouts. However, the fleeing suspect was later apprehended by the Police." "[He was] Olafinraye Adedamola who posed as a lady named Janet was born in 1989 in Kosofe LGA Ketu, Lagos." "[He is] An artisan who trained in construction of aluminum but currently a driving instructor in his father’s moribund driving school located in Ketu, Lagos claimed he met a Nigerian at a conference in Malaysia who introduced him to the victim who requested that he purchased property for him in Nigeria which was the basis for the disbursement of the money into his account and that he had already bought a building at Ogba, Ikeja for N4 million and that the documents were with him" "I intended to further my studies with the money" - Suspect Adedamola who noted that this was his first attempt, said he first met the couple on Facebook and in the course of their discussion, booked for a meeting in Malaysia. According to him; "I posed as Janet on the Facebook, using a white woman’s photograph. I told the couple that I was an estate manager and convinced them to buy property in Lagos." "Since they have not been to Nigeria, they asked us to meet elsewhere and when I stumbled on a business conference that was holding in Malaysia, I booked the meeting." "On reaching Malaysia, I told a Facebook lady friend to pose as Janet after telling her what to say. That was how the deal was struck and they paid the dollar equivalent of N3.4 million into my account. I intended to use the money to further my studies because I am determined to be a graduate. I used part of the money to travel again to Malaysia for leisure in August." "My regret is that I was caught at the end because I used my genuine data to open the account. I guess it was because it is my first time." The suspect, according to Isintume-Agu, will be charged to court. Here is the URL of the article, which includes a photo, for as long as it is good: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/11/24-yr-old-nabbed-defrauding-us-couple-42497/ ****************************************************** 31 OCT 2013 From the Orangeville Citizen, of Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, sent sent in by Ultrascan AGI: Internet fraud cost local resident ‘tens of thousands’: OPP Dufferin OPP detachment said Wednesday it has received a report of a massive fraud perpetrated over the Internet and by telephone against an Orangeville resident. Using the victim’s e-mail address, the fraudster posed as a contractor from the United States known to the victim who while working in Nigeria had fallen victim to government imprisonment that kept him isolated in a motel under house arrest. The claim was that he and his son could only be released when the victim came up with money to secure their release. "Periodically different individuals were introduced into the fraud to support the story line," the detachment said in a release. "This cast of characters included a church deacon and a Nigerian diplomat and a British police constable that contacted the fraud victim in regards to the detainment." The contractor’s son was supposedly en route from Nigeria to Canada to stay with the victim. "A local person that worked in the Orangeville area was supposed to assist i n transferring some of the suspect’s funds back to fraud victim." The repayment of several thousand dollars to the victim was supposedly deposited by the Orangeville contact, but a week later the cheque was found to be fraudulent and the funds were removed from the victim’s bank account. "This fraud spanned an almost two-year period and victim was bilked out of tens of thousands of dollars," the release said. The OPP is strongly warning Ontarians against long distance relationships that evolve from the Internet. "Giving specific details about yourself is not only dangerous, it equips an unknown person, who often misrepresents himself or herself in such a way that they are able to pull heartstrings in order to get to your purse strings." Noting that once money is transferred or sent it is gone and cannot be replaced, the OPP added that such fraudsters are good at what they do and very convincing. "The OPP suggests that you need to ask yourself, ‘Is this too good to be true?’ because in most cases, it is." Persons who find themselves in such unfortunate and precarious positions often have little recourse and not only is there money lost, but attempts to locate the fraudster who is responsible become very difficult. Real names are seldom used, accurate details about the person are seldom used and Internet addresses can be easily shut down once the fraud has taken place. The OPP acknowledges that the Internet is great resource and those who use it don’t always do so in a respectful and responsible manner. "It has been used by opportunistic individuals in the past and this will continue in the future." The force asks residents to remember that information is power and with this information, you have the power to simply say “no” and keep what you have worked a lifetime for. "Please protect yourself and if in doubt about anything that may be internet based, please contact your local OPP Detachment, Police Service or internet provider for assistance." Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://www.citizen.on.ca/news/2013-10-31/Front_Page/Internet_fraud_cost_local_resident_tens_of_thousan.html ************************************************* 31 OCT 2013 From allAfrica.com, as reported originally in Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper, sent in by Ultrascan AGI: Nigeria: Teenager Docked for U.S.$40 Million Fraud By Ifeanyi Okolie Lagos: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested a suspected teenage internet fraudster, Tobechukwu Igbokwe, and his accomplice, Ifeanyi Obi for allegedly defrauding an American of $40 million. The suspects, who were arraigned before Justice Lawal of a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on a 12-count charge bordering on forgery, conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretences contrary to Sections 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006, were remanded in prison custody pending their bail hearing. Igbokwe, 19-year-old secondary school leaver, was alleged to have duped his victims, many of them foreigners, of huge sums through the internet under fraudulent guises. He allegedly worked in concert with Obi to dupe an American, Micheal Silva, of $40 million in an inheritance scam. Silva was made to believe that Igbokwe and his accomplice had a huge inheritance that they wanted to move to a foreign account for safekeeping. The victim was asked to send money to "process" the transfer and in the process, he wired $40 million in installments through Western Union Transfer to Igbokwe and Obi. Other victims Igbokwe also confessed that he had duped other foreigners among them a Tommy Bedwell, who lost $6,000 to him and Richard Hunt, $15,000. One of the charges against Igbokwe and Obi read: "Tobechukwu Igbokwe (alias David Prince, alias John Emma, sometimes in the month of October 2011 in Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, obtained $800, $700, $200, $400, $200, $300, $500, $500, $500, $200 (totaling $5,500). "Which sum you obtained separately from Michael Silva of the United States of America under false pretence that the money represent part payment for processing inheritance funds due him as a beneficiary of the fund and which pretence you knew was false." When the charges were read to them, the defendants pleaded not guilty. EFCC counsel, Fadeke Giwa prayed the court for a trial date and to remand the accused persons in prison custody. However, counsel to the first defendant, D. A. Omougbai, asked for a short date to file his bail application. Also, counsel to the second defendant, D. A. Eimuejel, prayed the court to accept the bail application he filed on behalf of his client. Justice Akapo, however, adjourned the matter till December 3 and ordered that the defendants be remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Lagos. Here is the URL of the story for as long as it is good: http://allafrica.com/stories/201311010411.html Here is another URL to the story at Worldstage: http://www.worldstagegroup.com/worldstagenew/index.php?active=news&newscid=11750&catid=40 419 Coaltion note: Although the story states that the loss was $40 million, given the small amounts reported lost by other victims, we're not sure that is correct - more likely, the Tale of the 419ers was about a $40 million inheritance, but the monies lost to "processing fees" and all the other spurious advance fees the 419ers dreamed up was, way less that that. In short, we think that in this report the Tale MAY have been mistakenly reported as the Loss ******************************************** 11 SEP 2013 From the Nigerian newspaper Daily Sun, this matter brought to our attention by Ultrascan AGI: Fraud: Ajudua granted bail again By AKEEB ALARAPE Relief once again came the way of embattled lawyer and socialite, Chief Fred Ajudua as a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja granted him bail. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Ajudua and his co-accused, Charles Hijiudu, in 2003 for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen, Mr. Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, of about $1.69million between July 1999 and September 2000. But for eight years, Ajudua could not show up for his trial until he appeared on June 11, 2013 to continue with his trial before Justice Joseph Oyewole of a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja. He was subsequently remanded in prison custody by the order of the court. All efforts by his lawyer, Allens Agbaka, to restore the revoked bail of Ajudua failed as Justice Oyewole turned down his bail application on June 27 on the ground that previous undertakings and concessions granted the accused were not honoured by him. But on August 3, Ajudua was said to have suffered, serious health complications at about 2p.m and had to be rushed to the medical facility of the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons, where he was being held in custody. He was later admitted at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) for kidney-related medical complications. Ruling on a fresh bail application brought by counsel to Ajudua, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, last week, Justice Ganiyu Safari granted the prayers on the ground that his ill-health constituted an "exceptional circumstance," for the court to grant him bail. Safari stated that Ajudua was suffering from complicated ailments which needed proper medical treatment unavailable at the prison facility. He said a medical report dated August 13, issued by one Dr. Adebisi Ogunjimi of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), showed that Ajudua was rushed to the hospital on August 3. "There is no doubt that the medical condition of an applicant can warrant the granting of bail in exceptional circumstances," the court said. Justice Safari confirmed that Ajudua, was having difficulty in passing urine and was also hypertensive and had a solitary kidney. According to the judge, Ajudua’s health condition should not be allowed to worsen while the trial was still going on. He then gave him a bail bond of N50million and two sureties in like sum. Safari, however, stated that Ajudua’s new bail warranted a sterner term in view of his antecedent, having jumped bail in 2005 after he went to Grant Medical Foundation, India for treatment. The court disclosed that the accused missed 40 court sittings, which stalled the conclusion of his matter, which started on May 16, 2003. Ajudua was, however, ordered to deposit his international passport with the Chief Registrar and must not travel outside Nigeria without the permission of the court. Here is the URL of this article for as long as it is good: http://sunnewsonline.com/new/cover/fraud-ajudua-granted-bail-again/ This story was also reported online in the Sodel "Nigeria Newsbreak" (URL below) and many other sources: http://sodelnewsbreak.blogspot.nl/2013/09/how-alleged-fraudster-fred-ajudua-was.html?spref=fb 419 Coalition comment: Wonder if that's the last we've seen of Fast Freddie, bail sureties and passport depositing notwithstanding? Oh, the suspense..... ************************************************* 5 SEP 2013 From the US Department of Justice United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announcement brought to our attention by .NExT Web Security Services: Nigerian National Sentenced To 100 Months For Involvement In Scheme To Defraud Lawyers Out Of Millions The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Nigerian national charged in connection with a multi-national scheme that bilked more than $70 million from U.S. and Canadian lawyers was sentenced to serve 100 months in federal prison. According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Emmanuel Ekhator, age 42, of Mississauga, Canada, and Benin, Nigeria, was sentenced Wednesday by District Court Judge Yvette Kane following his plea of guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Ekhator was ordered to pay $11,092,028 restitution to victims and serve a three-year term of supervised release following his incarceration. Judge Kane also directed the forfeiture of properties in Canada and the contents of several bank accounts in Nigeria. According to the information the prosecutor provided to the court during the guilty plea proceeding, Ekhator was part of an attorney collection scam. Conspirators contacted U.S. and Canadian law firms by e-mail claiming to be individuals or businesses outside North America who were owed money by entities in the U.S. and asking for legal representation to collect the money. Often, the prospective "clients" said the monies owed came from a real estate transaction, tort claim, or divorce settlement. Once the law firm agreed to represent the out-of-country "client", the law firm would be contacted by the U.S. entity purportedly owing money with an offer to pay the "client" by check. The “client” would instruct the law firm to deposit the check in the law firm’s trust account, retain the law firm’s fee, and wire the remaining funds to accounts in Asia. The check that was then mailed to the law firm would be a counterfeit check, a fact that would be discovered only after funds from the law firm’s trust account had been wired to the Asian bank. The counterfeit checks, which appeared to be drawn on legitimate accounts from well-established financial institutions, often included a telephone number for the financial institution. Lawyers attempting to determine the validity of the check would call the number only to reach another conspirator who would falsely verify the check. Ekhator’s co-defendant, Yvette Mathurin, has been charged in connection with this aspect of the conspiracy and is awaiting extradition from Canada. Investigation continues against other members of the large, multi-national conspiracy. Another co-conspirator, Kingsley Osagie, was arrested as he arrived in the Atlanta area from Nigeria and is currently awaiting trial in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Other co-conspirators are pending extradition from several foreign countries. As part of the agreement between lawyers for Ekhator and the government, the lawyers told the court that Ekhator’s involvement in the scheme makes him responsible for losses of more than $7 million and up to $20,000,000. Ekhator also admitted to being a leader in the criminal enterprise and that sophisticated means were used to commit the crime. Ekhator was arrested in Nigeria in August 2010, and extradited to the United States in August 2011. This case was investigated by a task force including the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the Toronto Police Services, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy H. Fawcett. Here is the URL of this announcement for as long as it is good: http://www.justice.gov/usao/pam/news/2013/Ekhator_09_05_2013.htm This story was widely covered in the US, Canadian, and international media, merely search for "Emmanuel Ekhator". 419 Coalition thanks all the relevant authorities for their work in this case and for their continuing efforts on it - we trust that recovery of stolen monies and restitution to the victims will begin as soon as possible, and note that the Nigerian Government claims to have a fund of hundreds of millions of dollars on hand seized from 419ers. So why not use those monies to repay the victims in cases where the 419er has been convicted and restitution ordered - like this case and the Odiawa case. for example? Then the fund can be reimbursed by monies recovered from, and the liquidated assets of, the convicted criminal. ********************************************* 3 SEP 2013 From eNCA.com in South Africa, brought to our attention by our friends at .NExT Web Security Services: Hawks probe global internet scam The Hawks are investigating 54 people suspected to be part of a cross-continental cybercrime syndicate. The group are alleged to have defrauded thousands of people to the tune of R15-million JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks are investigating 54 people suspected to be part of a cross-continental cybercrime syndicate. The group appeared at the Nigel Magistrate's court on Tuesday on allegations of defrauding thousands of people to the tune of R15-million, taking internet fraud to a new level. These are people who will normally send people SMSes telling them they’ve won a lump sum. The millions of rands that was pilfered through the notorious 4-1-9 scam has made this crime one of the biggest cybercrime busts in South African history. Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko said: "These are people who will normally send people SMSes telling them they’ve won a lump sum. In return they will demand their particulars and in return people’s bank accounts will be looted." The modus operandi ranges from opening fraudulent store accounts to accessing credit using cloned identities, through phishing scams. In one day they are even alleged to have cleared R6.6-million from 21 different accounts. Nine of the 54 accused, who are alleged to be the ringleaders, have been remanded in custody while the remaining suspects have been granted bail. Some of the accused claim they are innocent, arguing that the gang used their bank accounts to commit fraud without their knowledge or consent. The case has been postponed until the 26th of November for further investigations. "We’ll continue nabbing syndicate members connected to this one," Ramaloko said, adding: "we are calling on members of the community who have fallen victim to a syndicate like this to come forth." Authorities say this cyber crime ring is not only well resourced but have for a long time evaded any detection. It is also understood that the alleged stolen amount of R15-million is just the tip of the iceberg of the crimes. Here is the URL of the article for as ong as it is good, which also includes a short video: http://www.enca.com/south-africa/internet-fraudsters-caught-action ************************************** 29 AUG 2013 From BBC News, sent in by a concerned Nigerian: Million-dollar dating scam mum and daughter jailed Karen Vasseur posed as a "military agent" to collect money from duped victims A mother and daughter who used an internet dating scam to steal $1.1m (£700,000) have been jailed for a total of 27 years. Denver-based Karen Vasseur, 63, and daughter Tracy, 42, tricked victims into thinking they were talking to US service personnel looking for love. The prolific scammers duped 374 victims in the US and 40 other countries. "Not only did this mother-daughter duo break the law, they broke hearts worldwide," police said. "It is fitting that they received stiff sentences for their unconscionable crimes committed in the name of love and the United States military," said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. Both women pleaded guilty when arrested last year. The younger woman faces a 15-year sentence, while her mother was given a 12-year sentence. Tracy Vasseur received an additional four years for crimes relating to an attempt to gain control of her children's inheritance, and for "attempting to influence a public servant". Military 'agents' Colorado authorities said the pair ran an operation which included several other members who have not been caught. This "staff" would do the leg work of targeting potentially vulnerable people on popular social media sites or dating services. Tracy Vasseur received the longer sentence for her part in the scam From here, they would concoct a story that they were in the US military, and were in need of money for various reasons - the most popular being travel costs, or satellite phones to "talk directly" with someone. Once a victim appeared ready to pay, they were instructed to transfer funds to the two women who posed as "military agents". One transaction was as high as $59,000, court documents said. Although the pair were responsible for administering the scam, the court said the majority of the money was quickly passed on to other accomplices across the world. Money was most frequently sent to contacts in Nigeria, but also to individuals in the UK, India, UAE and Ecuador. Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23884241 ******************************************************* 28 AUG 2013 From the US Federal Trade Commission, brought to our attention by Ultrascan AGI: FTC Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Nigerian Consumer Protection and Criminal Enforcement Authorities Memorandum Provides for Strong Cooperation on Cross-Border Fraud The Federal Trade Commission signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with two Nigerian agencies today to increase cooperation and communication in their joint efforts to stamp out cross-border fraud. Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Adebowale Adefuye, provided opening remarks for the MOU signing ceremony. The MOU was signed by FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez; Director General Dupe Atoki, of Nigeria’s Consumer Protection Council (CPC); and Executive Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde, of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It is the first FTC MOU of this kind to include a foreign criminal enforcement authority. The CPC addresses consumer complaints through investigations and enforcement; the EFCC is a criminal enforcement agency with authority to address consumer fraud and other financial crimes. "Cross-border scammers use fraudulent e-mails and other scams to bilk consumers all over the world, while undermining confidence in legitimate businesses," said FTC Chairwoman Ramirez. "This MOU will help our agencies better protect consumers in both the U.S. and Nigeria." Director Atoki stated that "We fully support this collaboration on consumer and fraud matters, and have already detailed a senior CPC official to the FTC for a six-month staff exchange." And Executive Chairman Lamorde noted that he "welcomes this partnership, which builds on our existing collaboration with the FTC and with U.S. criminal enforcement authorities." The MOU provides for a Joint Implementation Committee to identify concrete areas of collaboration, establish joint training programs and workshops, and provide assistance regarding specific cases and investigations. The MOU is a framework for voluntary cooperation and will not change existing laws in either country. The FTC has already worked with the two Nigerian agencies on policy and enforcement matters in various fora, including the African Consumer Protection Dialogue, the International Mass Marketing Fraud Working Group, the London Action Plan (LAP, an anti-spam network), and the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network. The Commission vote authorizing Chairwoman Ramirez to sign the MOU on behalf of the agency was 4-0. Here is the URL of this announcement for as long as it is good: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/08/nigerianmou.shtm This announcement was also posted up on the EFCC website, here is that URL for as long as it is good: http://www.efccnigeria.org/efcc/index.php/news/581-us-federal-trade-commission-signs-mou-with-efcc-cpc **************************************************** 22 AUG 2013 From the Nigerian newspaper Vanguard: $2m fraud: Police arrest suspected Nigerian fraudster in Dubai By KINGSLEY OMONOBI ABUJA — In what is considered a breakthrough in its fight against international crimes, the Interpol Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, headed by DCP Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, has in conjunction with its counterpart in Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, arrested one Itumo Anthony Chidebere, a suspected fraudster, who fled to Dubai after defrauding a Nigerian businesswoman of $2 million. The 35-year-old suspect from Ebonyi State had been on the run for the past 13 months after perfecting the deal. Vanguard gathered that in June, 2012, the suspect presented himself to the said businesswoman as an estate broker in Dubai, claiming that he could purchase a house for his victim. He was said to have presented several documents and samples of influential Nigerians he claimed to have assisted to buy houses. Relying on this assurance, the unsuspecting victim made a payment of $2,082,139 to the suspect, after which the suspect disappeared without purchasing the said house. He chose rather to run from one country to another in a bid to evade arrest. Meanwhile, Interpol at force headquarters is working with its United Arab Emirates counterpart and the Federal Ministry of Justice to facilitate the extradition of the suspect to Nigeria. Commending the personnel of the Interpol unit for the successes recorded in international anti-crime operations, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, reaffirmed the determination of the Force to bring to justice criminals connected with international crimes. He promised to strengthen the bond between the Nigeria Police Force and its counterparts in other countries in resolving all trans-border crimes. Abubakar further advised Nigerians in Diaspora to steer clear of fraud, drug trafficking and other related crimes, noting that engaging in such criminal activities could bring the image of Nigeria to disrepute. Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/08/2m-fraud-police-arrest-suspected-nigerian-fraudster-in-dubai/# **************************************************** 13 AUG 2013 This 419 Coalition commentary is based on private reports received by our organization from trusted sources: ATTENTION FATF Nigerian Government Fails to Find even $1.00 to Repatriate in Odiawa Case It has been reported that in the famous Odiawa case, one of the few in which the 419er actually did get convicted and went to prison, with restitution ordered by the court nearly a decade ago, the Nigerian Government and the vaunted EFCC were unable to recover even $1.00 to repatriate to the victim. Yes, you heard that right, - over $2 million was stolen by this convicted 419er, and the vaunted EFCC, in a decade, could not even find $1.00 to recover and repatriate to the victim. Neither 419er money, nor real estate, nor anything else of any real value could be found. Nothing. Nada. The EFCC looked so long in its fruitless search that the convicted 419er completed his jail sentence awhile back now and has gone his merry way. Guess he is living on air or something though, since according to the EFCC he has no money and no assets to pay court ordered restitution out of... Well, it certainly would appear that this 419er was quite successful in laundering his money and assets. Washy, washy, washy, and **poof** all gone..... And yet the Nigerian Government is agitating to be removed from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) Black List of nations in which money laundering is prevalent. It claims that the money laundering situation in Nigeria is, at long last, much improved and under reasonable control. Want corroboration of Nigerian Government performance in countering money laundering? Just Ask Odiawa :) ********************************************** 18 JUL 2013 From The Guardian, a Nigerian newspaper, sent in by Ultrascan AGI: How fraudsters ruin Nigeria's economy, by Utomi . From Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba News - National A graphic picture of how Advance Fee Fraud popularly called 419 ruined the nation’s economy by scaring potential foreign investors and exacerbating unfriendly business environment was painted by a Director of Lagos Business School, Prof. Pat Utomi in Asaba Thursday. Utomi, who spoke at the Lecture Series on Good Governance in honour of the former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, lamented that the vast majority of the scammers who are also derisively called yahoo, yahoo boys are youths who ordinarily are supposed to engage in productive venture. He said that some of the youths who engaged in internet fraud succeeded in making money which like the prodigal son they squandered in the spirit of easy comes, easy goes only to end up being broke after wasting their lives. Buttressing his point, he told the sad story of a businessman friend of his who needed to import machinery for his business from the United Kingdom after securing a loan from one of the commercial banks at exorbitant interest rate, but had the several letters he wrote to the company abroad unanswered. Utomi said: "419 or yahoo yahoo as they call it has done a lot of harm to Nigeria businesses. Presently, most companies overseas do not even bother to read any letter from Nigeria. There is the very pathetic case of my friend who took loan at a very high rate from a bank to import equipment. He didn’t get any reply from the several letters he wrote to the company in England demanding for the equipment. Alarmed at the interest on the money which was piling up daily, he had to travel to England only to be told that the company and indeed most companies abroad do not even bother to read letters from Nigeria because of 419." Again, Utomi pointed out that the business practice all over the world is for companies to give 90 days credit facilities to their foreign business partners after supplying them goods to pay up, but has since been denied legitimate Nigerian businesses due to the activities of desperate scammers. The result of this is that Nigerian companies end up not being competitive as the cost of doing business becomes very high unlike in other countries where credit facilities are readily given to them. He added that in the absence of investors, that youth employment which was a major contributory factor to the scamming business would remain very high while armed robberies and the scourge of kidnapping for ransom will always be there. Utomi suggested that the government must emphasise agriculture as it was the surest way of tackling youth unemployment. He advised that agriculture should be made attractive by giving it a sex appeal so that the army of unemployed youths can be gainfully employed instead of being reserved for old men and retirees. Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/index.php/national-news/127489-how-fraudsters-ruin-nigerias-economy-by-utomi 419 Coalition note: Although we don't expect the yahoo-tahoo boys to allow themselves to be relocated down on the farm (a la Mao's cultural revolution) anytime soon, we nevertheless "wish more grease to Professor Utomi's elbow" and agree fully with his thesis that 419 had been quite damaging to the legitmate Nigerian economy. And we do of course agree that unemployment and underemployment in Nigeria, especially of young people, has devastiting effects of the economy as a whole and results in misery for millions who try to eke out a living by any means possible, sometimes including 419 and other crimes. In our view, any legitimate work, including agriculture, which can lower the unemployment rate and improve the average standard of living in Nigeria is to be encouraged by the government of Nigeria. However..... in terms of Existing 419ers..... We'd like to say that we've suggested in the past that convicted 419ers be put into prison jumpsuits with a big 419 on the back and be put to work at hard labor on highly visible public works projects - highway and bridge repairs and that sort of thing. Think Chain Gang. Let the public See that 419 doesn't pay, and that when one is convicted of 419 his life is miserable. That is, assuming the Government of Nigeria can actually round up enough convicted 419ers to muster up a decent gang to chain :) We submit that this may be more viable approach than getting existing yahoo-yahoo boys to voluntarily relocate to the boonies, though of course we are all for the boonie relocation program too if it can be made to work! :) ********************************************************** 8 JUL 2013 From the Daily Times, a Nigerian newspaper. Sent in by Ultrascan AGI: Alleged $1.69m fraud: Fred Ajudua seeks change of trial judge By Augustine Aminu A one-time Lagos socialite, Fred Ajudua, on Monday filed an application before an Ikeja High Court, seeking a change of the trial judge hearing charges of fraud preferred against him. Ajudua and an associate, Charles Orie, are standing trial before Justice Joseph Oyewole of an Ikeja High Court. Both men were arraigned on May 30, 2003, for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen - Messrs Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen - of 1.69 million US dollars (N252.8 million). During Monday's proceedings, Ajudua's counsel, Mr Allens Agbaka, said that the defence had petitioned the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, to remove Oyewole from further sitting over the trial. Agbaka also sought for an adjournment of the trial, pending the decision of Phillips to transfer the case to another judge. In the application-- which was supported by a six-paragraph affidavit-- Agbaka alleged that Oyewole had made a prejudicial remark while ruling on Ajudua's bail application on June 25. The defence counsel said that the judge's claim that his client would tamper with the prosecution witnesses was prejudicial to the fair trial of the case. He said:"The learned presiding judge, in making those remarks, has given cause for reasonable apprehension that the first accused ( Ajudua) has been found guilty, even before the conclusion of the trial." Agbaka further stated that Oyewole's name was mentioned in another petition written by Ishaya Bamaiyi, a retired Major-General, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He said that in the petition, Bamaiyi had accused Ajudua of fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars from him while they were in Kirikiri Prison, Lagos. Agbaka said Bamaiyi had alleged that he gave Ajudua the money to help him influence Oyewole, who was also presiding over his trial as at then. He said: "Having the name of the judge in the hand written petition, His Lordship is likely going to be listed as one of the witnesses." The EFCC counsel, Mr Wemimo Ogunde (SAN), told the court that he needed time to respond to the application. Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://www.dailytimes.com.ng/article/alleged-169m-fraud-fred-ajudua-seeks-change-trial-judge 419 Coalition note: Appears that Fast Freddie has a continued case of the "go slows" - at least in terms of getting tried :) Wonder how many more years he can hold out? (see 11 JUN News for the beginning of this latest go round with Freddie) ******************************************************** 26 JUN 2013 From Vanguard, a leading Nigerian newpaper: How I swindled American women of $48,000 - Student A final year student of Imo State University, Chibuzor Akobundu, has been arrested by operatives of Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, for allegedly swindling foreign women to the tune of $48,000 through a dating website. by Evelyn Usman A final year student of Imo State University, Chibuzor Akobundu, has been arrested by operatives of Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, for allegedly swindling foreign women to the tune of $48,000 through a dating website. Surprisingly, the 22-year-old Microbiology undergraduate confessed that his victims, resident in the United States of America, were 'swept off their feet' by his profile on the dating site. The suspect adopted Devon Miles as his name and pasted a photograph of an unknown American citizen as his profile on the dating site. Victims He confessed to have swindled five American single women within the ages of 40 and 50, in search for husbands. He gave the name of his first victim as Antoinette. He promised to marry her and was able to dupe her of $16,000 before she suspected he was a fraudster. His next victim was one Jettie Simpson, who reportedly sent $5,000 to him via Western Union. Others also duped by Akobundu were Shelly Bashir, $100; Billie Klock, $13,000, in a relationship that reportedly lasted for five months, and Andrea Desena, $8,000. 'How I operate' Akobundu said: "I started browsing the dating site three years ago, posing as a US citizen residing in Nigeria." "At that time, it was a common game around my area in Ikeja. Along the line I met these ladies who were looking for husbands." "They fell in love with me because of my profile, where I stated that I was a 49-year-old divorcee in search of a wife. I claimed to be an engineer." "I would tell them I was stranded in Nigeria and needed some money to travel back to US and they would send the money via Western Union." "At other times, I would tell them that my daughter was sick and that I needed money to offset her hospital bill and they would fall for the trick. I have never used charm to hypnotise any of them." "My parents were never aware of what I was into because anytime I got a reasonable amount, I would travel to South Africa and squander the money." "My regret is that I never used the money for anything tangible, to avoid suspicion. My mum is a teacher, while my father is a businessman and have been responsible for the payment of my school fees." Victim's story Explaining how he was arrested, spokesperson for the Unit, Ngozi Insitume-Agu, said: "The arrest followed a petition via the Unit’s website from one Amelia Brosick, a US citizen, dated April 16, 2013, where she alleged that one Devon Miles, suspected to be a Nigerian, defrauded her to the tune of $16,439 using different tactics." "She added that she met the suspect on a dating site in June 2012, and the suspect, under the guise of dating her for the purpose of marriage, obtained the alleged sum fraudulently through Western Union." "Armed with the petition, Western Union was contacted and they sent a detailed spread sheet showing all the transfers in the name of the suspect." "Following the information, the duo of Nnamdi Nwakwue Dike and Olawale Oguniran attached to Western Union in Skye Bank, Owerri and Allen Avenue, Ikeja, branches, respectively, were arrested." "Their revealing statements led to the arrest of the serial internet fraudster, Chibuzor Akobundun also known as Devon Miles, Martin Williams and Sani Bala Ismaila. He adopted Devon as the internet name, but opened the account in the name of Martin Williams." Accomplices confess "He confessed that he provided the bank staff with the photocopy of his identity card so that they could withdraw the monies, while he gave them some percentage." "The bank staff also confessed that they used Uche's particulars to withdraw money from other persons’ accounts without his knowledge." However, Dike of the Owerri branch denied knowledge of what Akobundun was into. He maintained that he was only doing his job as a front-line teller staff of the bank, adding that he had never at any time paid Akobundu above the stipulated amount. He said: "Anytime he came to collect the money, he would answer the question given correctly, including the secret code." "Mine is to ascertain whether the details corresponded with what was in the system at the end of which I would hand his money over to him." Asked if he received any gratification from Akobundu, he said he was given tips of N1,000 or N2,000 at times, just like some other bank customers do. Here is the URL of the article (which includes a photo of those arrested) for as long as it is good: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/06/how-i-swindled-american-women-of-48000-student/ ****************************************************** 25 JUN 2013 From the excellent website Nigeriaworld, here is a feature article currently up on the site discussing 419ers, 419 victims, and the Big Picture of 419 as the writer sees it. The essay/article is too long to be posted here, but a link will be given below. The title and author of the afticle are: Feeling Sorry for Nigerian Scammmers by Femi Akomalafe Here is a link, for as long as it is good: Feeling Sorry for Nigerian Scammers The URL of the article is: http://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/femi-akomolafe/061213.html for as long as it is good. It has been our experience over the years here at 419 Coaliton that significant numbers of Nigerians feel more or less as the author does on this subject, and therefore this is an interesting and instructive read for those studying 419 matters, our view. **************************************************** 11 JUN 2013 From the Nigerian newspaper the Punch, sent in by Ultrascan AGI: Ajudua remanded in prison after eight-year failed arrest by Ade Adesomoju Lagos High Court, Ikeja on Tuesday ordered that the alleged fraudster, Mr. Fred Ajudua, be remanded in prison. Justice Joseph Oyewole gave the order when Ajudua made his first appearance in court after he avoided trial for eight years. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had in 2003 arraigned Ajudua and his co-accused, Charles Hijiudu, for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen - Mr. Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen - of about $1.69m between July 1999 and September 2000. Here is the URL of the artiicle for as long as it is good: http://www.punchng.com/news/ajudua-remanded-in-prison-after-eight-year-failed-arrest/ 419 Coalition comment: Finally..... "Fast Freddie" is in the slammer, hurrah :) ***************************** 13 APR 2013 From eNews Channel Africa, eNCA.com, in South Africa: A Nigerian and a South African have been arrested for allegedly defrauding an American man of R200,000 in an alleged 419 scam. Two people have been arrested in Johannesburg for allegedly defrauding a US citizen of over R200,000 in a suspected 419 scam. According to Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko, a 44-year-old Nigerian man and a 20-year-old South African woman were arrested in Sandton on Friday afternoon. The Nigerian is believed to be married to a South African woman, and the 20-year-old is believed to be his step-daughter. The victim, a 48-year-old man, was apparently looking for business opportunities when he met the Nigerian man on an online professional network. The US man arrived in South Africa on March 18 to proceed with the businesss deal. He gave the two accomplices money at a meeting in his hotel room. His business partners in Canada and the USA transfered money to the pair via Western Union. He suspected he was the victim of a scam and alerted police on Wednesday. He was unable to leave the country because he had no more money left. The two were charged with advance fee fraud, also referred to as a 419 scam. The number 419 refers to the Nigerian criminal code that deals with fraud. Victims usually receive e-mails claiming that for their assistance of providing a small fee to access a large sum of money, a handsome reward would be paid. According to the SAPS website, this is currently the world's largest scam in terms of monetary losses. "We believe this is the tip of the iceberg. It is part of a bigger syndicate," Ramaloko said. The two are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Commercial Crime Court soon Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good, which includes a short video:: http://www.enca.com/south-africa/two-arrested-419-scam *************************************** 5 APR 2013 From the Nigerian newspaper Daily Post, sent in by our friends at Ultrascan AGI: University of Ibadan student bags 8-year jail term for advance fee fraud By Emmanuel Uzodinma A first year student of the University of Ibadan has been sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for charges of advance fee fraud by a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu. Justice L. Mohamed Shaiubu sentenced Daramola Olawale on a four count charge. Daramola had pleaded not guilty in May 2012 during his first arraignment, but later changed his plea to guilty after a plea bargain was struck. Each of the count carried 2 years imprisonment. The sentences will run concurrently from the first day he was arraigned. The four count charge for advance fee fraud were brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a Charge No: FHC/ENCR/41/10. The count charge reads in part: “that you Daramola Olawale on or about the 12th day of May, 2012 at Enugu within the jurisdiction of the FHC of Nigeria with intent to defraud, had in your possession (e-mail) pmaxwelln43@yahoo.com a scam document titled Re: "These are the pictures and the mileage” which was addressed to Rev. Jeffrey Ramsey and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 6 of the advance fee fraud and other fraud related offences Acts 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same act". "That you Daramola Olawale on or about the 12th day of May, 2012 at Enugu within the jurisdiction of the FHC of Nigeria with intent to defraud, attempted to obtain the sum of N200,000 from one Rev. Jeffrey Ramsey when you purportedly represented yourself as a custom agent and that you have cars for sale, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1), (b) of the advance fee fraud and other fraud related offences Acts 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same act". In its judgement, the court held that: “the accused having changed his plea from not guilty to guilty and based on the exhibit tendered by prosecution plea of leniency by A. Salau accused counsel, it is hereby ordered as follows; the convict is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment on each of the four counts. "The sentence to run concurrently with effect from the 12th May, 2012 when accused was first arrested and detained." "The recovered monetary exhibit to be returned to the nominal complaint issued at Enugu under the seal of the court and the hand of the presiding judge". Responding, EFCC prosecuting counsels; K. C Chukwu and M.A Eneh thanked the court for the judgement. Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://dailypost.com.ng/2013/04/05/university-of-ibadan-student-bags-8-year-jail-term-for-advance-fee-fraud/ ****************************************** 16 FEB 2013 From the Times of India: Nigerian scam: 5 'support staff' held S Ahmed Ali MUMBAI: The crime branch on Friday arrested five persons for involvement in the Nigerian lottery scam. The police said the five would open bank accounts using fake documents to receive money from people duped by the scam operators. The police had laid a trap after the anti-motor vehicle theft cell got a tip-off that a vehicle theft gang was to arrive near the Worli dairy. They arrested Kamar Shaikh alias Rahul Rajesh Gupta (35), Sameer Sawant alias Rajesh Bhoj (22), Sayyed Ali alias Rajesh Chavan (35), Kiran Jadhav alias Ramesh Sharma (35) and Mohammed Nadaf alias Alex D'Souza from a car that was moving about suspiciously. The police recovered 19 cell phones, various fake documents, bank chequebooks and credit and debit cards from the men. "The gang would open bank accounts in fictitious names at the behest of their Nigerian mentors," investigating officer Vilas Gangawane said. The police said the scamsters lure people by sending text messages or emails saying they have won prizes in a UK lottery and ask the victim to deposit a "processing fees" in various accounts. "The accused used these fake documents to open accounts in the bank and later used to withdraw cash through ATMs or transfer the money," additional commissioner of police (crime) Niket Kaushik said. The police said the arrested men used to get 10 to 20% commission. The police are looking for 14 more persons. The fake documents seized were difficult to differentiate from original ones and police said they will probe how the accused managed to print them. All the accused were produced before a local court and remanded in police custody till February 22. Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-02-16/mumbai/37132597_1_fake-documents-nigerian-scam-uk-lottery ***************************************** 9 FEB 2013 From the website PHILLY.COM sent in by a friend of 419 Coalition: "Grandson" sentenced in $643,503 scam targeting elderly By Sam Wood, PHILLY.COM His victims were elderly, relatively unsophisticated and extraordinarily generous. Each received a phone call from someone they believed was their grandson. The "grandson" said he had been arrested in Canada for drunk driving and desperately need money to pay legal expenses. With the story, Anthony Oluwole Ojo, 44, successfully defrauded more than 120 worried grandparents, many from the Philadelphia area. His take: $643,503.97. Ojo, of Toronto, Canada, pleaded guilty in May 2012 to three counts of wire fraud. On Friday, a federal judge in Philadelphia sentenced him to 45 months in prison and ordered Ojo to pay full restitution. It's unlikely that his victims will see any money, prosecutors said. And though justice has been served, it will do little to comfort his victims. "Some may never financially, physically or emotionally recover from being duped by his cruel scheme," said Linwood C. Wright, the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case. According to court documents, one elderly woman said that she had "sold home and used part of payment to help someone claiming to be my grandson. Lost home and faith in people - hope it gets better." Another wrote "I borrowed the money and I am still paying ... I still have $1300 to pay, as I live on [Social Security] it will take me another 4 years to pay it if I live that long as I am 85 years young." A third emotionally scarred victim wrote about Ojo's grift "[It was] 1) On my mind every day. I am 86 years old. 2) Kept secret from my children ... 4) Have fallen 3 or 4 times because I cannot clear my mind of this tragic situation. 5) I am just a nervous wreck." During the first contact, Ojo would tell his victims to wire funds, using Western Union or MoneyGram, to a fictitious name in Toronto. Ojo would then use fake identification to pick up the money, federal prosecutor's said. If the victim complied, he would tap them again. Ojo took $106,000 from one victim with his repeated requests, according to federal prosecutors. Canadian authorities arrested Ojo in Oct. 2009 and extradited him to the United States in July 2010. During his plea hearing in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia he claimed he was just a "small player" in the fraud. The Assistant U.S. Attorney convinced the jury otherwise. "Most international fraudsters are never brought to justice. They operate in the shadowy world of impersonations and false identities," Wright said. "They, like Ojo, undoubtedly believe that they are insulated from detection by international boundaries and Byzantine mazes. "They are not." Contact Sam Wood at 215-854-2796, @samwoodiii or samwood@phillynews.com. Here is the URL of this article for as long as it is good: http://articles.philly.com/2013-02-09/news/36995330_1_victims-federal-prosecutors-grandson 419 Coalition Note: The Canadian TV news show W5 did a piece on this case awhile back which stated that Ojo is a Nigerian who has lived in Canada since 1998, and the article also gave more information on the scam. This information was also sent in by a friend of 419 Coalition. Here is the URL of that article for as long as it is good: http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5-investigation-conmen-who-target-seniors-1.578320 *************************************************** 5 FEB 2013 From the State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General: Two Individuals Arrested for Their Alleged Roles in So-Called "Black Money Scam" TRENTON - Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that two alleged con artists were arrested on Friday in a so-called "Black Money Scam" in which the defendants allegedly attempted to scam unsuspecting victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by falsely promising an amount of money several times the amount of money that the victims fronted to the defendants. Nyondah L. Blay, 38, of Trenton, and Carl Jenkins, 35, of Philadelphia, Pa., were arrested on Friday evening (Feb. 1) on charges of second-degree conspiracy, second- degree theft by deception, third-degree forgery and third-degree possession of forgery devices. "These defendants allegedly preyed upon unsuspecting victims, portraying themselves as refugees who, because of their circumstances, were prepared to offer a deal too good to pass up," Attorney General Chiesa said. "My office will continue to protect New Jersey residents from fraud by aggressively investigating and prosecuting con artists." "I commend the excellent collaborative work of the Division of Criminal Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cherry Hill Police Department in this investigation," Division of Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor said. "It is through such partnerships that we are able to maximize our resources to prosecute such cases in New Jersey." "This investigation is another great example of how law enforcement from different backgrounds work together and produce successful results," said Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez of the Newark Office of the FBI. "The FBI will continue to work side by side with the State Attorney General’s Office and all of our law enforcement partners to bring cases like this to justice." On Friday (Feb. 1), the defendants allegedly told a victim that they (the defendants) had hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. currency that was dyed black to avoid detection as the money was smuggled out of their war-torn country of Liberia. The defendants allegedly asked the victim to supply several thousand dollars for the purchase of expensive chemicals needed to extract the dye from the bills. It is alleged that the defendants promised to pay the victims an amount of money several times what they fronted once the dye was extracted. The defendants were arrested in Cherry Hill when they allegedly took possession of several thousand dollars from the alleged victim. In this type of scheme, once the transaction is completed, the normal scam entails the defendants then absconding with the victim’s money and the victims being left with worthless paper. The men were arrested as a result of a sting operation conducted jointly by the Division of Criminal Justice and the FBI. Detective Anne Hayes was the lead detective for the Division of Criminal Justice. Deputy Attorney General Peter Gallagher will prosecute the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. Participating in the arrests were detectives from the Division of Criminal Justice's Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau and the Gangs & Organized Crime Unit, as well as officers of the Cherry Hill Police Department. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000. At a bail hearing yesterday afternoon, Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Brown Jr. in Camden County set bail at $150,000 cash or bond for each defendant, no 10%. The defendants were remanded to Camden County jail. Attorney General Chiesa and Director Stephen J. Taylor noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has a confidential, toll-free tipline for the public to report financial fraud, corruption and other illegal activities: 1-866-TIPS-4CJ. The public also can log on to the Division Web site at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing confidentially. 419 Coalition note: The nationality and citizenship of the men detained is not clear from the news release above, but they were allegedly posing as Liberians, and allegecdly attemtping to perpetrate a traditional 419 "Black Currency" (aka "wash-wash") scam, so we felt that this article was relevant here and merited posting. Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases13/pr20130205a.html **************************************************** 5 FEB 2013 Breaking News; 20 alleged Internet fraudsters granted bail Written by Admin at Elombah.com Elombah.com can confirm that Honourable Justice M. I. Liema of the Federal High Court, Benin has grated bail to 10 young men, part of the original 20, arrested by the EFCC last week on allegations of cyber crimes. Last night, we had reported that Defense lawyers were gunning on securing bail for these young men at the first shot. That was exactly what happened an hour ago. There were six lawyers in court today for the suspects. Barrister Emeka Ugwuonye did not personally appear, but was in touch with the lawyers and coordinated the defence efforts to every minute detail. It is not common for judges to grant oral bail applications. Nigerian courts tend to require that bail applications be in writing. Such could delay the process quite considerably. It could have taken at least two weeks to complete the bail application in this case, if it were made in writing. But the defence lawyers moved for oral bail application and prevailed over the EFCC's vigorous objections. Further details as to the defence strategy reveal that Ugwuonye had planned on a dramatic move in court today, whereby the suspects would be instructed by their lawyers to undress in court to show to the judge the deep wounds and cuts on their bodies, which were inflicted by the beatings they received. Ugwuonye had calculated that if the judge saw those wounds, he would be disposed to granting these boys bails so they would be able to receive treatment for their injuries. Lawyers familiar with Ugwuonye's trial tactics seem to believe that he would not hesitate to employ such shock factor it he deemed it reasonable in the circumstances. It would also seem perfectly logical if in this case the EFCC intends to use what it called the confessional statements of the suspects against them. Ugwuonye must have calculated on making it clear to the court upfront that any such confessions were the product of severe beatings that the boys received during and after their arrests. From preliminary indications, this case will be marked by twists and turns that the EFCC does not seem to be accustomed to. It is not clear when the EFCC intends to arraign the remaining 10 boys. It is equally possible that the EFCC does not intend to charge the remaining 10 suspects. The lawyers are not taking any chances and may still go forward with a preemptive strike in respect of those not yet arraigned. Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://elombah.com/index.php/write-for-us/14416-breaking-news-on-the-efcc-case-against-20-alleged-internet-fraudsters Scroll down to see related article in 3 FEB 2013 News. ************************************************** 5 FEB 2013 From The Punch, a nigerian newspaper, via elombah.com, an excellent source of Nigerian news and commentary: Fraudster uses Jonathan, Dangote's pictures to dupe victims BY ENIOLA AKINKUOTU The State Security Service has arrested a 35-year-old man, Dennison Onwuka, for attempted fraud and being in possession of $1.5m in fake currency. The suspect was also accused of superimposing his photograph on that of some dignitaries to portray himself as a member of the inner caucus of President Goodluck Jonathan as well as a close ally of prominent business moguls in the country, including Aliko Dangote. According to SSS, Onwuka claimed to be an agent of business mogul, Mike Adenuga, with the intention of defrauding one Livinus Yakubu, a Dubai-based businessman. The Director, SSS, Lagos, Ben Achu-Olayi, said Onwuka had met with Yakubu in Dubai before and had discussed a business proposals but Onwuka deviated from the deal and later brought up a business of authenticating fake dollars. PUNCH Metro learnt that it was at this point that Yakubu became suspicious and immediately alerted the agency. Achu-Olayi said, "On January 5, 2013, Yakubu reported that Onwuka, a purported agent of Adenuga, planned to invest $7m in real estate. Onwuka, having met Yakubu in Dubai recently, invited Yakubu to Nigeria to participate in the business transaction. Instead of proceeding with the business, Onwuka introduced the issue of having $3.5m which was stamped all over." "He told Yakubu that he needed $30,000 to purchase chemicals to wash the money which would erase all the stamps and the money would be spendable." The SSS persuaded Yakubu to go on with the deal as planned while undercover agents monitored closely. "Under close surveillance at Camelot Hotel, Victoria Island, where Onwuka was scheduled to collect the $30,000, the suspect was arrested with fake money to the tune of $1.5m", the SSS boss said. Operatives however learnt that the case was just one of many of Onwuka’s scams. It was discovered during a search of his chalet at Travel House Hotel, Ajah that the suspect was in possession of fake government documents as well as 12 manipulated photographs of the suspect, with dignitaries such as President Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, former president Olusegun Obasanjo among others. The SSS director said, "Investigation has revealed that Onwuka is an international fraudster who specialized in the act of forging signatures of top government officials. Also, he engages in superimposing his photograph on that of dignitaries to portray himself to be a member of the inner-caucus of President Jonathan as well as a close ally of prominent business moguls in the country." In a related development, the SSS paraded a former senatorial aspirant, Azeez Bello,for impersonating the Director of Operations of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Olaolu Adegbite, as well as attempting to defraud the wife of the Abia State Governor, Mercy Orji. According to SSS, the suspect with two others at large impersonated the EFCC boss and attempted to blackmail Orji on the pretext that the commission was investigating her for purported financial offences. Here is the URL of the Punch article for as long as it is good: http://www.punchng.com/metro/fraudster-uses-jonathan-dangotes-pictures-to-dupe-victims/ ********************************************* 3 FEB 2013 From Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper: EFCC nabs 20 suspected Yahoo-Yahoo Boys in Benin (419 Coalition Note: This is Benin a city/district in Nigeria, NOT Benin, the Country) The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested 20 suspected internet fraudsters. The arrest, said to have been carried out in a joint operation with officers of the 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Benin, followed intelligence report on their activities. The arrested suspected Yahoo-Yahoo Boys with tools in Benin, yesterday. They were nabbed in a surprise raid on their cyber office tucked in an old building located on Siluko Road, Benin City. At the point of arrest, the fraudsters had in their possession 45 laptops of different make, 28 telephone sets, eight internet mobile modems and one Nissan car with number plate USL 375 AG. The suspected fraudsters who are mostly in their twenties include: Idehen Obabueki, Adesa Lucky, Usuagu Uche, Eloghosa Olikiabor, Larry Edomwonyi, Amowie Maike, Francis Ezegbede, Itua Samuel and Endurance John Egbeifo. Others are Amego Ovenseri, Iyen Ighodaro, Philip Agbodori, Lucky Robinson, Nnadi Obinna, Osabuohien Osahon, Chinenu Eze, Peter Sunday, Solomon Ogu, Niyi Femi and Osagie Aghedo. The suspects were said to have made useful statements. Most of them confessing to be engaged in online dating of foreigners particularly widows. They also confessed to using different pseudo names and faces to deceive their prospective victims. According to the police, they will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded. Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/02/efcc-nabs-20-suspected-yahoo-yahoo-boys-in-benin/ Scroll up to see related article in 5 FEB 2013 News. ********************************************** 16 JAN 2013 From CBS News Philadelphia, sent in by a friend of 419 Coalition: Nigerian Man Pleads Guilty in Philadelphia To Internet Frauds Reporting: Brad Segall A Nigerian man has pleaded guilty in connection with an online scheme to rip off people who were selling items on Craigslist, prompting homeland security officials to once again warn area residents about these scams. Adebowale Owoaje was in federal court in Philadelphia (photo) yesterday, where he admitted to four counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors say he would negotiate a price with the seller, then use a co-conspirator to send what turned out to be a fake cashier’s check to that person for more than the selling price. He would then ask the seller to wire the balance back to the other person, who would take a cut and send the rest overseas. "Our investigation revealed Mr. Owoaje was successful in defrauding US-based victims of over $100,000," says Homeland Security investigations assistant special agent in charge William Walker. "These were funds that ultimately were sent back to Nigeria for his benefit." Walker's best advice: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Owoaje is facing a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison and fines up to $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for mid-April Here is the URL of the article for as long as it is good: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/01/16/nigerian-man-pleads-guilty-in-philadelphia-to-internet-frauds/ ********************************************

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