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In some cases, rather than being asked to send money, victims of romance scams are deployed as money mules whose banks accounts are used to move illicit funds or are talked into opening accounts on behalf of criminals.

The indictment alleges that the 80 defendants and others used various online fraud schemes — including business email compromise BEC frauds, romance scams, and schemes targeting the elderly — to defraud victims out of millions of dollars.

The indictment was unsealed after law enforcement authorities this morning arrested 14 defendants across the United States, with 11 of those arrests taking place in the Los Angeles region. A video linked to the case, which includes newspapers marked 16 March and shows different metal cases filled with gold nuggets, was also leaked online.

The police made a point of noting that they had also towed away a Porsche and a new Bentley from a home he had recently bought for cash. Daily newsletter: join our subscribers! Read full details below. The cases bring into focus much that is wrong in the East African country, including gaps in policing, border points, customs and the financial system.

Operatives then laundered the stolen funds through these accounts, ultimately funneling them to Nigeria and pocketing the proceeds.

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Each of the 80 defendants named in the indictment is charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft. This method was used to transfer millions of dollars to Nigerian co-conspirators without directly transferring funds overseas.

Messrs Iro, Igbokwe and Chuks Eroha, 39, face additional charges for attempting to destroy their phones when the FBI executed a search warrant in July Department of Justice said in a statatement. Kenyatta already has the momentum from the previous crackdown on the rackets, but so far no one has been convicted of a crime.

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About 80 Nigerians charged for massive fraud, money laundering in America