Oyindamola Akinrinola, 23, of Lawrence, Kansas, has pleaded guilty in federal court for her role in Nigerian fraud schemes that targeted victims across the United States.
According to US Attorney McAllister, the charges and other information presented in court: Akinrinola, a Nigerian national who was granted legal permanent residency in the United States in 2018, was part of a scheme to defraud US-based victims out of money and property.
Akinrinola's co-conspirator in Nigeria orchestrated several scams, such as tricking victims into believing they were eligible for fictitious awards or establishing purported (but false) romantic relationships with victims and exploiting their affections.
The co-conspirator in Nigeria directed victims to send money to Akinrinola, a statement said.
While in Kansas as a college student, she received funds from the scam victims—in amounts ranging from hundreds of dollars to as much $20,000—via wire transfers, money orders, financial applications, Wal-Mart money grams, Western Union, the United States Postal Service, and various other means.
According to the statement, Akinrinola kept a portion for herself as her reward and sent the bulk of the funds to her co-conspirator in Nigeria. To do so, she generally used the Sendwave, WorldRemit, or Boss Revolution mobile applications.
"Akinrinola and her co-conspirator in Nigeria victimized individuals, several elderly, through a variety of online scams," said US Attorney Stephen McAllister.
"She now faces time in federal prison for her crimes. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of fraud schemes like these, no matter where they originate.
"I also take this conviction as an opportunity to reiterate to all Kansans the vulnerability of our senior citizens to scams and con artists, who prey upon them. We must all be vigilant to protect our parents, grandparents, elderly relatives, friends and neighbours from such frauds and fraudsters."
"Scams such as lottery, online dating, and impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees continue to be a major threat to taxpayers, especially senior citizens," said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
"Scammers will use a variety of techniques to cheat taxpayers. TIGTA will do everything within its power to ensure that those involved in the impersonation of IRS employees are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We appreciate the assistance of the US Department of Justice in this effort."
Sentencing is scheduled for June 15, 2021, at 9:00, am, before US District Judge Holly L. Teeter. The Treasury Inspector General is investigating this case for Tax Administration. Assistant US Attorney Ryan J. Huschka is prosecuting the case.