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Two Nigerian suspects plead guilty in $1.2m US fraud case

Posted by By Agency Reporter on 2008/02/09 | Views: 840 |

Two Nigerian suspects plead guilty in $1.2m US fraud case


Two Nigerians have pleaded guilty to charges of making false promises to pay millions of dollars, including money from an estate and a lottery, to some people in the United States of America.

Two Nigerians have pleaded guilty to charges of making false promises to pay millions of dollars, including money from an estate and a lottery, to some people in the United States of America.

A statement posted on the website of the U.S. Department of Justice, on Friday, said the two Nigerians - Nnamdi Chizuba Anisiobi and Kesandu Egwuonwu - conspired with a Senegalese, Anthony Friday Ehis, to defraud U.S. victims of over $1.2 million. The statement quoted Assistant Attorney-General Alice Fisher of the DOJís Criminal Division and Attorney Benton Campbell of the Eastern District of New York as saying that the accused persons pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes Jr. at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.

The defendants were arrested in Amsterdam by Dutch law enforcement agents on February 21, 2006 after their victims had been identified in the U.S. Dutch authorities had earlier notified the U.S Postal Inspection Service, which opened a separate probe, resulting in the arrest and extradition of the accused persons to the United States.

Anisiobi pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, eight counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. Ehis pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and five counts of wire fraud; while Egwuonwu pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. Another Nigerian, Lenn Nwokeafor, reportedly fled to Nigeria and was subsequently arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on July 27, 2006, based on a U.S arrest warrant. He is being held by the EFCC pending his extradition to the U.S.

According to the indictment and an earlier filed complaint, the defendants allegedly sent spam e-mails to thousands of potential victims, in which they falsely claimed to control millions of dollars located abroad. Attempting to conceal their identities, the defendants used a variety of aliases, phone numbers and email addresses. The accused persons sent emails purporting to be from an individual suffering from terminal throat cancer. They claimed that the cancer patient needed about $55m.

Anisiobi allegedly telephoned the fraudstersí victims, disguising his voice to give the impression that he was suffering from throat cancer. After conning the victims, the defendants allegedly asked them to wire-transfer payment for a variety of advance fees.

The maximum penalty for mail and wire fraud in the U.S. is 20 years in prison while a conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.