Nigerian Man Receives 10-Year Sentence in US for Laundering Internet Fraud Money, Owes $1.46M in Restitution

Nigerian Man Receives 10-Year Sentence in US for Laundering Internet Fraud Money, Owes $1.46M in Restitution

The Conviction: Internet Fraud Schemes

Olugbenga Lawal, a 33-year-old Nigerian national residing in Indianapolis, was sentenced to 10 years and a month in prison and ordered to pay over $1.46 million in restitution.

He was found guilty of conspiring to launder money derived from internet fraud schemes.

Role in Criminal Activities

Lawal collaborated with a Nigeria-based criminal organization involved in defrauding individuals and businesses across the United States.

The schemes included romance fraud and business email compromise, often targeting elderly victims who believed they were in romantic relationships with individuals they met online.

Laundering Millions

Between January 2019 and June 2020, Lawal and his associates received millions of dollars through various bank accounts, with funds directly traced to defrauded victims.

He controlled multiple accounts across different financial institutions, totaling over $3.6 million in deposits.

Money Laundering Operations

Lawal facilitated the movement of fraudulent funds by converting them into Nigerian currency accessible in Nigeria.

He engaged in import/export transactions, shipping cars to Nigeria, and conducting currency exchange operations to repatriate the criminal organization’s proceeds back to Nigeria.

Legal Proceedings and Verdict

In August 2023, Lawal was convicted by a federal jury for conspiring to commit money laundering.

Three others involved in the scheme had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Authorities and Investigation

The United States Justice Department, through Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri and U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss, along with Assistant Director Michael Nordwall of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, announced Lawal’s sentencing.

The FBI conducted the investigation.

Prosecution Details

The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys from the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the District of Delaware, with support from various legal personnel specializing in money laundering cases.

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