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Wed Nov 6, 2019, 01:27 AM

Nigerian national sentenced to a decade in prison for role in $1.83 million romance fraud scheme

Nigerian national sentenced to a decade in prison for role in $1.83 million romance fraud scheme involving elderly victims


ATLANTA - Olu Victor Alonge has been sentenced for his role in a multi-year wire fraud scheme that targeted users of American dating websites and caused a total loss of $1,835,279. Six other Nigerian nationals have been charged as part of the conspiracy; three have pled guilty, and Alonge is the first to be sentenced.

“The conspirators in these cases, including some who were overseas, used fake personas on online dating websites to trick individuals, including elderly retirees, into giving them large amounts of money,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “The conspirators would spend weeks cultivating online relationships with their victims before defrauding them of hundreds of thousands of dollars, often taken from their retirement savings or inheritances. The judge rightly called the romance fraud scheme ‘pure evil’ before handing down the defendant’s sentence. Combating this type of transnational fraud targeting elderly Americans is a top priority of my office and the Department of Justice; would-be cybercriminals should think twice before engaging in such vile conduct.”

“This sentencing exemplifies IRS Special Agents' intense focus on the rigorous pursuit of crimes against our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly,” said Atlanta Field Office IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman, III. “Individuals who commit fraud and identity theft of this magnitude and with this degree of trickery, dishonesty and deceit, deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Olu Alonge perpetuated an elaborate scheme driven by insatiable greed and a blatant disregard for the tremendous damage inflicted on innocent victims. Be assured that IRS Criminal Investigation, together with our partners at the U.S. Attorney's Office, will hold those who engage in similar behavior fully accountable.”

“I greatly appreciate the hard work of our investigators in pursuing this crime, and that of the U.S. Attorney’s staff for prosecuting this case. Everyone did an excellent job in bringing this serious matter to a satisfactory conclusion,” said Steven A. Sund, Chief of the U.S. Capitol Police.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr/nigerian-national-sentenced-decade-prison-role-183-million-romance-fraud-scheme

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