A Nigerian woman has been sentenced to 10 years in the U.S for scamming some Americans and Canadians out of about $2.3 million.
Sally Iriri, 33, who has been arrested since April has now pleaded guilty, she told District Judge James Peterson at the Madison federal court that she created fake profiles on an internet dating website and contacted her victims promising companionship for financial assistance.
A co-defendant, Michael Adegoke, 33, has also been arrested in Atlanta this month.
According to the U.S. attorney:
Iriri and Adegoke would create fake profiles on Internet dating sites to lure potential victims. Once they established online romantic relationships, they would persuade their new acquaintances to send them money in exchange for bad checks, or to help the suspects pay “inheritance taxes” on bogus inheritances.
The investigation involved several federal agencies; the Price County Sheriff’s Department, where at least one victim resided; law enforcement agencies in six other states; and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
According to court records, Iriri posed as a “Mary Moreno” from California and convinced a Park Falls man she wanted to join him in Price County but needed money to pay taxes on her large inheritance. The Wisconsin man sent $160,000 to other bank accounts before going to police.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security determined Iriri had come to the United States from the United Arab Emirates in June 2013 on a student visa. She later used her Nigerian passport to open a bank account in New York where some of the stolen money was directed.
From August 2013 to September 2014, Iriri withdrew more than $1.3 million from the account, records show.
A woman in Canada told investigators she sent $237,000 to “Michael Ferguson,” who told her he had acquired some valuable gemstones in Dubai but didn’t complete the proper paperwork when he tried to take the gems to the United Kingdom and needed money to pay a fine to release the gems.
Earlier this year, an agent joined the dating service, posing as someone seeking romance. The scammers then tried to get him to send them $50,000.
H/T – jsonline.com