A federal district court sentenced three Nigerian cybercriminals to a collective 235 years in prison for tens of millions of dollars in intended losses via identity theft, credit card fraud, mail fraud, and pilfering government property, the US Department of Justice announced today.
Femi Alexander Mewase, 45, received a 25-year prison sentence; Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan, 30, received a 95-year prison sentence; and Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, 31, was sentenced to 115 years in prison. The three were part of a 20-member gang of cyberthieves, of which six were extradited from South Africa to Mississippi to face charges in the case.
The defendants and their cohorts relied on Internet dating schemes to lure unsuspecting women to carry out their money laundering of counterfeit checks and money orders via MoneyGrams and Western Union transactions, make purchases of electronics and other goods with stolen credit card numbers, and use stolen personal identification information to commander victims' bank accounts, according to the Department of Justice.
The three Nigerians and other group members associated with the cybercrime ring had been conducting their pilfering going back to at least 2001 before they were extradited to the US from South Africa in 2015 to face charges for their crimes.
Read more about the case here.