The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey S. Berman, and James C. Spero, Special Agent in Charge of the Tampa, Florida, Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced today that nine Nigerians had on Thursday, April 25, 2019. were arrested for defrauding businesses and individuals of more than USD3.5 million (3,500,000 dollars) through business email compromises, a Russian oil scam, and a romance scam.
The names of the suspects was given as; Oluwaseun “Sean” Adelekan, 36, Resident of New York, New York, Olalaken Daramola, 35, Resident of Austin, Texas, Solomon Aburekhanlen, 32, Resident of New York, New York, Gbenga Oyeneyin, 32, Resident of Aventura, Florida, Abiola Olajumoke, 46, Resident of Aventura, Florida, Temitope Omotayo, 36, Resident of New York, New York, Bryan Eadie, 35, Resident of New York, New York, Albert Lucas, 29, Resident of New York, New York, and Ademola Adebogun, 38, Resident of New York, New York.
According to U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, The defendants deployed three different email schemes to defraud their victims. The common denominator in all three schemes was the defendants’ alleged fleecing of their victims through fictitious online identities. The schemes allegedly earned the defendants USD3.5 million (3,500,000 dollars). they were also arrested on federal felony charges.
As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today from at least in or about July 2016, up to and including the present, the defendants participated in a scheme to defraud businesses and individuals through several categories of false and misleading representations, including but not limited to:
Sending victims email messages that appeared to be, but were not, from legitimate business counterparties that included instructions to the victims to wire payment to those seemingly legitimate business counterparties into bank accounts that were actually under the control of, and/or maintained by, ADELEKAN, DARAMOLA, ABUREKHANLEN, OYENEYIN, OLAJUMOKE, OMOTAYO, EADIE, LUCAS, and ADEBOGUN (the “Business Email Compromise Scam”);
Sending email messages and text messages to at least one victim offering an opportunity to invest in oil stored in Russian oil tank farms conditioned on that victim wiring upfront payments into bank accounts purportedly affiliated with the purported oil investment but actually opened by and under the control of ABUREKHANLEN, OLAJUMOKE, and OYENEYIN (the “Russian Oil Scam”); and
Sending email messages and text messages to at least one victim from an individual (or individuals) purporting to be a female with romantic intentions toward the victim requesting, further to establishing a romantic relationship, the wiring of payment into a bank account under the control of OMOTAYO (the “Romance Scam”).
ABUREKHANLEN was arrested on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, in the Bronx, New York, and was presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman on Thursday, April 26, 2019. ADELEKAN, OMOTAYO, LUCAS, EADIE, and ADEBOGUN were arrested on Thursday, April 26, 2019. in New York, New York, and will was presented on before Judge Pitman on the same day. OLAJUMOKE and OYENEYIN were also arrested on Thursday, April 26, 2019. in Florida and was scheduled to be presented in the Southern District of Florida later on the same day. DARAMOLA was arrested Thursday, April 26, 2019. in Texas and was presented in the Western District of Texas on the same day.
The defendants are each charged in the Indictment with one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud. they defendants faces a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.
This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel H. Wolf is in charge of the prosecution.
The report reads that; charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Source (U.S. Attorney’s Office)