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HomeNewsAfrican Man Jailed for Defrauding US Residents of $3.4m

African Man Jailed for Defrauding US Residents of $3.4m

African Man Jailed for Defrauding US Residents of $3.4m

Olaniyi Nasiru Ojikutu, age 39, was sentenced to nearly seven and a half years in prison in the United States for his participation in a multi-year romance scam.

According to US prosecutors, Ojikutu, a permanent legal resident of the United States who was born in Nigeria, opened approximately 25 bank accounts in his name, a fictitious name, and the name of a shell corporation through which nearly $3.4 million in fraudulently obtained proceeds were transferred.

They disclosed that Ojikutu and nine others were indicted in Operation Gold Phish, a Chicago-based sting operation that identified cybercrimes that targeted senior citizens.

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Fox32Chicago reported that Ojikutu was sentenced to 88 months in prison on February 8 after being charged with wire fraud in the operation in 2019.

After being charged, Ojikutu fled to Canada by bus but was apprehended seven months later.

In January 2020, Canadian authorities will extradite him to the United States.

In July of last year, he pled guilty to one count of wire fraud.

John Lausch, the U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois, said in a statement that schemers in the U.S. and Nigeria targeted older citizens and built trust with them through an online romance before stealing money from them.

On social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, as well as the mobile dating application Match.com, victims of the scam were contacted.

Prosecutors stated on Thursday that Ojikutu used the fraudulently obtained funds for his gain, including purchasing vehicles in the United States and shipping them to Nigeria for resale.

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Federal prosecutors announced that some victims lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to Ojikutu’s actions.

In this case, eight of the nine defendants in federal custody have pleaded guilty. Federal prosecutors stated that Daniel Samuel Eta, also known as ‘Captain’ and ‘Etaoko,’ 35, of Skokie, has pleaded not guilty and his case is still pending.