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Nigerian man arrested for exporting $40million scam to the US

Lagos – Six U.S. citizens and a Nigerian national were sentenced Tuesday to federal prison for their roles in online fraud schemes that distributed more than $40 million in counterfeit checks using “mystery shopper” websites and work-from-home scams.

The criminal enterprise was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Funso Hassan, 27, of Ibadan, Nigeria and Anthony Shane Jeffers, 44, of Maryville, Tennessee, were each sentenced to 10 years in prison. Ann Louise Franzen, 70, of Kiln, Mississippi; Gary Melvin Barnard, 64, of Palestine, Texas; Michele Gayle Fee, 55, of Stockton, California; Tanya Lynn Thomas, 52, of Turlock, California; and Shawn Ann White, 44, of Manteca, California, were each sentenced to five years in prison.

In addition to the prison sentences, U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr., of the Southern District of Mississippi sentenced each defendant to three years supervised release following completeion of their sentences. Restitution to the victims for all defendants will be determined at a later date. The sentences are the maximum statutory penalty for the charges to which the defendants pleaded.

All seven defendants were members of a large-scale international financial fraud conspiracy that included romance scams through online dating sites, check fraud, secret shopper schemes and personal assistant work-from-home schemes.

Some of the defendants started as romance scam victims only later becoming knowing participants in the counterfeit check fraud. Victims were sent checks with mystery shopper and personal assistant instructions. The checks, which were counterfeit, would bounce after the victims transmited  proceeds to various locations in the United States which were then layered for transmission to Nigeria.

Victims then owed their banks the amount of checks and often hundreds of dollars in bank fees

http://www.news24.com.ng/National/News/nigerian-man-arrested-for-exporting-40million-scam-to-the-us-20160910

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Conman jailed for love affair scams

A conman who cheated women out of thousands of pounds after convincing them an American marine had fallen in love with them has been jailed for six years. Robinson Agbonifoayetan posed as a soldier online and defrauded two women out of £42,000. One of his victims, who lives in Ealing, used up her life savings and sold her car before becoming suspicious and alerting the police.
http://www.itv.com/news/london/update/2015-08-13/conman-jailed-for-love-affair-scams/

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Manteca trio indicted in Nigerian scam

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi woman first believed to be a victim of a Nigerian scam has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Gulfport along with a Nigerian man and five others.

Court documents show Ann Louise Franzen, of Kiln, was considered a victim in 2012 when authorities learned she had received $3.1 million in counterfeit checks and money orders.

But a 19-count indictment alleges Franzen was part of an Internet-based scheme to defraud others through work-at-home and secret-shopper scams. According to the indictment, the scheme allegedly involved bogus checks, money orders and traveler’s checks and the purchase of “high dollar” items with fraudulent credit card accounts.

The indictment was unsealed this week.

Others indicted were Funso Hassan of Nigeria; Gary Melvin Barnard, Shawn Ann White and Michele Gayle Fee, all of Manteca, California; Anthony Shane Jeffers of Maryville, Tennessee; and Tanya Lynn Thomas of Reno, Nevada, and Turlock, California.

Hassan was taken into custody on a criminal complaint June 2 when he flew into the U.S. He is held without bond. Hassan pleaded not guilty Wednesday. His trial date was set on a court calendar that starts Oct. 5.

Court records show arrest warrants have been issued for the others.

Homeland Security Investigations alleges Hassan and others directed the shipping of counterfeit checks and the purchases and reshipping of expensive clothes, jewelry, purses, computers and cellphones bought with fraudulent credit cards.

Illegal proceeds were wired or shipped to others in Nigeria, China, Ghana, Haiti, South Africa, Philippines and the United Arab Emirates.

The indictment alleges the conspiracy ran about four years, from Aug. 13, 2011, through June 3.

Each defendant is charged under the indictment with attempt and conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to commit offenses against the U.S. and money laundering.

Thomas also faces 16 counts of fraud. Jeffers and Barnard each face 10 fraud counts. Hassan and Franzen face six fraud counts.

The indictment alleges Hassan and others sent emails to find their victims, who received bogus checks, deposited them at their banks and sent most of the money to others.

The indictment said Franzen and Jeffers designed and made the bogus checks for distribution throughout the U.S., and Barnard, Thomas and Jeffers mailed fake checks to 11 South Mississippi victims.

Court documents allege customs agents in Los Angeles in 2012 intercepted bogus checks from Malaysia in a package addressed to Bowen Consulting at Franzen’s home address. The same year, she allegedly received bogus checks from Nigeria in a package labeled “local soap and sponge herbs.”

When questioned, Franzen relinquished 671 bogus checks written against various banks and 646 fake money orders, an HSI agent’s sworn statement said.

Emails link her to Hassan, who used a different name online, the indictment said. In one email, she reportedly asked him to retype instructions for mystery-shopper jobs.

The indictment said agents seized more than $1.1 million in fake checks from Thomas’ home and about the same amount in bogus checks from the home of Barnard and White.

White and Fee are alleged to have used a fake ID to handle wire transfers. Fee also allegedly received six fake identification documents and 550 bogus checks.

http://www.mantecabulletin.com/section/1/article/126833/

August 15, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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