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US court jails Nigerian for 60 months over $200k romance scam

Ayodele Oluwafemi

Adedunmola Gbadegesin, a Nigerian, has been sentenced to 60 months in prison by a court in the United States over a romance scam.

Gbadegesin was said to have been involved in a romance scam scheme that cost a Lexington woman approximately $200,000.


In September 2021, Gbadegesin was arrested over allegations that he defrauded an American lady living in Kentucky, a state in the US.


In April 2022, he was extradited to the US over an alleged conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

He was extradited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following a court order.

In the US, Gbadegesin was indicted over conspiracy to commit money laundering and wire fraud “stemming from the financial exploitation of elderly victims in the United States”.


He was said to have hired others in the US to receive funds from the victims and his co-conspirators are identified as Olatunbosun Oluwakayode Ajayi, Otunuya Ineh Eqwem, and Ismaila Fafunmi.

“Fafunmi pleaded guilty to his role in the money laundering scheme; and in August 2021, he received 51 months in prison. Ineh Eqwem and Ajayi have also pleaded guilty for their roles in the money laundering scheme; they were sentenced to 24 months and 12 months, respectively,” a statement from US attorney’s office for Eastern District of Kentucky reads.

On May 2, 2022, Gbadegesin made his first appearance in a US court.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Nigerian pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy.



On Friday, Karen Caldwell, a US district judge, sentenced Gbadegesin to a 60-month prison term alongside a forfeiture of $38,000.

Before his sentencing, Gbadegesin told the court he had accepted guilt for his actions and moved on.

Lexington Herald-Leader quoted the Nigerian to have said he committed the crime to feed his family.

This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.
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