A 36-year-old Nigerian, Afeez Adebara, has been jailed for romance scams and money laundering in the United States.
The Nigerian, who leads a group of money launderers in an online romance scam, was sentenced on Friday to four years in jail by a court in the Northern District of Oklahoma.
Court papers showed that Adebara and other scammers had defrauded multiple victims.
They were said to have engaged in scams worth over $2.5m.
Elderly individuals, especially females, across the United States, were said to be major victims.
Apart from being jailed four years, the court also ordered Adebara, who resides in Norman and Oklahoma, to pay $500,740 in restitution to his victims.
In court documents obtained by The PUNCH, Acting U.S. Attorney, Clint Johnson, said, “Afeez Adebara led a group of money launderers who bilked unsuspecting victims out of their hard-earned retirement and savings accounts as part of a Nigerian romance scam.
“This con artist and his cohorts have been brought to justice, thanks to the work of the FBI and federal prosecutors Babasijibomi Moore and Chris Nassar.”
Adebara, whose aliases included “Sam Ade” and “Alan Altman,” was indicted on October 10, 2019, alongside six other named suspects and three unnamed people.
The indictment alleged that Adebara and the nine others conspired to commit money laundering in 2017 as part of a scheme that involved the use of online dating sites and social media platforms to fleece unsuspecting elderly women.
Adebara pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on November 3, 2020.
Six other Nigerians were also connected with the case, court papers revealed, adding that they had been sentenced.
John Ogundele, 32, of New York, New York, was sentenced to 33 months imprisonment.
Paul Usoro, 25, a Nigerian citizen and lawful permanent resident of the United States residing in Norman, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, six of which were to be served in home confinement.
Joshua Ditep, 26, a Nigerian citizen and lawful permanent resident of the United States residing in Norman, was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, five of which were to be served in home confinement.
Tobiloba Kehinde, 29, a Nigerian citizen residing in Norman, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, four of which were to be served in home confinement.
Chibuzo Obiefuna, 28, of Long Beach, California, and Jamiu Adedeji, 25, a Nigerian citizen residing in Norman, were each sentenced to time served.