The United States government has released full details and identities of the 80 suspected fraudsters, with many being Nigerians, arrested in the country.
FBI named Valentine Iro, 31, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, both Nigerian citizens as lead suspects, adding that the duo allegedly coordinated with others to launder the funds from victims.
DAILY POST reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a press statement released in Los Angeles, California on Thursday by US attorney, Nick Hanna announced it has arrested, “many Nigerians”, in an ongoing investigation related to fraud cases.
Hanna said the fraud cases involved suspects colluding with federal and state agents, to dupe unsuspecting victims of their money.
He said a total of 80 suspects “many of whom are from Nigeria”, have been arrested and charged to court with 57 more being hunted globally.
According to a full statement released by the US authorities, the suspects either played major roles in the alleged fraud or acted as accomplices.
The statement read: “This case is part of our ongoing efforts to protect Americans from fraudulent online schemes and to bring to justice those who prey upon American citizens and businesses.
“Today, we have taken a major step to disrupt criminal networks that use BEC schemes, romance scams and other frauds to fleece victims. This indictment sends a message that we will identify perpetrators – no matter where they reside – and we will cut off the flow of ill-gotten gains.”
“Investigations revealed that members of the conspiracy sometimes wired funds to other bank accounts under their control or withdrew same as cash or negotiable instruments such as cashier’s checks.
“The suspects often “used illicit money exchangers to move funds overseas, generally avoiding transferring the funds directly through banking institutions, the indictment alleges.
“To do this, Iro and Igbokwe coordinated the transfer of a victim’s funds from a fraudulent bank account they controlled to US bank accounts belonging to illicit money exchangers.
“Those money exchangers, in turn, used a Nigerian banking application to transfer other funds in naira (₦), the currency of Nigeria, from Nigerian bank accounts they controlled to the Nigerian bank accounts specified by Iro and Igbokwe,” the statement said.