A Nigerian couple have reportedly been sentenced to 252 months in a US jail for jointly defrauding unsuspecting victims of millions of dollars.
NAIJ.com gathered that 58-year-old Gbenga Benson Ogundele and his wife, 42-year-old Mojisola Oluwakemi Popoola, were recently arraigned and sentenced to a joint prison term of 252 months (21 years).
The couple who live in Laurel, Maryland, were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering arising from a scheme to defraud unsuspecting victims.
While Ogundele was also charged with aggravated identity theft and sentenced to 234 months (19.5 years) in jail, his wife Moji, was sentenced to 18 months, after which they'll both have 3 years of supervised release.
The verdict was handed down to them on November 18, 2016, after a 17-day trial presided over by Judge Grimm.
Mojisola's brother, Babatunde Emmanuel Popoola, was also given a 34 to 12 years prison sentence on the same charges of fraud. Judge Grimm also presided over his case, and sentenced him on March 20, 2017.
The trio were indicted by a federal grand jury in 2015, alongside some Nigerian men identified as Mukhtar Danjuma Haruna, aka “Mukky”, 41-year-old Victor Oyewumi Oloyede, 58-year-old Olusegun Charles Ogunseye, aka “Charles O”, 33-year-old Adeyinka Olubunmi Awolaja Jr., 48-year-old Olusola Olla, and 26-year-old Olufemi Wilfred Williams.
NAIJ.com gathered that from evidence presented at their trial, they had browsed through several online dating websites where they met their unsuspecting victims and entered into romantic relationships with them. They exchanged calls, emails, internet chat messages with their victims all around the United States.
They had gone to the extent of using false stories and promises to convince their victims to part with their hard-earned money. They used fake hospital bills, fake foreign taxes, false problems with overseas businesses and even asked for plane trips to visit their victims.
They opened bank accounts used in depositing the millions of Dollars received from their victims. They asked for amounts ranging from $1,720 to $30,000, from their victims.
While Awolaja, Ogunseye and Williams pleaded guilty and are awaiting their own sentence, Oloyede received a 234 months prison sentence.
Ogundele was asked to forfeit $2,195,103.36, while his wife Mojisola, was asked to forfeit $165,000 and pay restitution of $34,100. Emmanuel was also asked to pay restitution of $465,170.76.
Meanwhile, the former GMD of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, was recently arraigned in court by the EFCC, over fraud and false assets declaration: