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Nigerian pleads guilty to $12 million fraud scheme targeting US citizens

Nigerian pleads guilty to $12 million fraud scheme targeting US citizens
April 20
15:28 2024

Damian Williams, the United States attorney for the southern district of New York, says Oluseun Omole, a Texas-based Nigerian, has been found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

In a statement by the United States Attorney’s Office of Southern District, Williams said Omole participated in a consumer electronics scam and defrauded citizens of goods worth over $12 million.

Omole was arraigned on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The attorney said Omole participated in the criminal acts perpetrated by members of a group called “Enterprise”, based in Nigeria.

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He said Omole and his associates were involved in “online marketplace scams, in which Enterprise members sent electronic communications to victims feigning interest in buying consumer electronics, falsely represented to the victim that the items had been paid for, and instructed the victim to send the consumer electronics to OMOLE”.

He added that the group was also involved in “romance scams, in which Enterprise members sent electronic communications to victims feigning romantic intentions, gained their trust and affection, and took advantage of that goodwill to induce victims into sending consumer electronics and other money or property to OMOLE”.

Williams said the suspects were also engaged in employment scams by posting fake job opportunities online and demanding electronics, including smartphones, smartwatches, laptops, and tablets, among other items from prospective employees as a requirement for the role.

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He said Omole used a business corporation named “Tobylink Impressions” to defraud victims of thousands of goods, adding that the suspect repackaged the products and dispatched them to his accomplices in Nigeria.

He said during the trial, the suspect pleaded guilty before Katharine Parker, the presiding judge.

The US attorney further said most of the fraudulent activities were conducted from February 2018 to March 2023.

“Over the course of approximately five years, Oluseun Martins Omole received more than $12 million worth of fraudulently obtained consumer electronics and other items,” the statement reads.

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“Thousands of victims believed that they were sending these electronics and items to romantic lovers, legitimate buyers, and reputable employers.  Instead, they went straight to Omole, who repackaged those electronics and goods and shipped them in bulk to co-conspirators located overseas in exchange for the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars.

“Those like Omole who participate in such fraud schemes will find themselves facing prison time.

“During the relevant time period, OMOLE owned and operated a business corporation named Tobylink Impessions, Inc., a/k/a Tobylink Impressions, Inc. (“Tobylink”), which claimed to be a distributor, re-seller, and supplier of satellite communications equipment.”

He added that as part of his plea bargain, Omole agreed to pay restitution in an amount to be ordered by the court.

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H said the suspect will also forfeit an amount of US currency to be ordered by the court, as well as various consumer electronics and other goods seized by law enforcement.

The attorney added that Omole will be sentenced by Jesse Furman, U.S. district judge, on July 30, 2024.

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