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District Residents Encouraged to Cooperate with DOJ in Nigerian Online Fraud Investigation

By District of Columbia Bar

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Attorney General Karl A. Racine is encouraging District residents who believe they might have been the victims of online fraud perpetrated by Nigerian nationals to cooperate with a federal inquiry. In a case investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the federal Homeland Security Investigations agency, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged 20 individuals it says were involved in fraud schemes involving online dating and work-from home offers.

Six Nigerian nationals charged as part of the October, 2014 indictment were recently extradited from South Africa to the United States. Charges include wire fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to commit identity theft, use of unauthorized account access devices, theft of U.S. government funds and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to the indictment, the defendants: Found potential victims through online dating websites and offers for work-at-home opportunities; Would initiate fictitious romantic or work relationships with victims; And, would convince victims to engage in activities that furthered their criminal purposes, including shipping and receiving merchandise purchased with stolen identities, depositing counterfeit checks, and transferring proceeds of the conspiracy via wire, mail or express-delivery services.

The defendants are Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan, Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, Olusegun Seyi Shonekan, Taofeeq Olamilekan Oyelade, Olufemi Obaro Omoraka, Anuoluwapo Segun Adegbemigun, Teslim Olarewaju Kiriji, Olutoyin Ogunlade, Dennis Brian Ladden, Susan Anne Villeneuve, Genoveva Farfan, Sesan Olumide Farin, Femi Alexander Mewase, Rhulane Fionah Hlungwane, Adekunle Adefila, Kayode Bamidele, Ajayi Oluwaseyi Stephen, Emmanuel Adeniyi Osokomaiya; Oludare Adeniran (fugitive) and Oduntan Sikiru Lawani (fugitive).

If you believe that you may have been a victim of criminal fraud committed by any of the defendants, please go to the DOJ website at http://www.justice.gov/usao-sdms/scams and complete the questionnaire using the password “scams.” 

Go here to read the full list of names and email addresses released by the Department of Justice.