Last edited on Friday, June 04, 2021, at 10:04 AM.
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Friday, June 04, 2021
I. Six Charged with Laundering Millions Derived from Romance Scams
On June 2, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, along with several law enforcement officials announced the unsealing of a complaint charging Abuchi Shedrach Felix, of Newark, NJ; Nadine Jazmine Wade, of the Bronx, NY; Oluwatomiwa Akintola, of Brooklyn, NY; Gregory Ochiagha, of the Bronx, NY; Habiba Fagge, of Towson, MD; and Ollanrewayu Ajibola, of Newark, NJ, with conspiracy to commit money laundering, in connection with their involvement in laundering millions of dollars in proceeds derived from romance fraud schemes.
According to the allegations made in the Complaint, the defendants used online aliases and information from dating website profiles to convince certain people to transfer funds to their often-fraudulent accounts. As one example, the defendants conspired to use online photos of a male model when providing victims with photos of the Alias. They would then engage in conversation with the victims via phone, text, and email, where they would pose as the Francisco Alias and ask victims for money.
The defendants would then use a shell company each one created to launder the money received, by depositing the money they received into bank accounts ostensibly tied to the alias used.
II. Nigerian National Arrested for Scheme to Conduct Cyber Intrusions to Steal Payroll Deposits
Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced on June 2, 2021, the arrest of Charles Onus for charges in connection with a scheme to conduct cyber intrusions of multiple user accounts maintained by a company that provides human resources and payroll services to employers across the United States, as a way to steal payroll deposits.
Onus was previously arrested on April 14, 2021, in San Francisco and detained, and he was presented later the same day in Manhattan federal court before Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.
According to charging documents, the hacking campaign conducted by Charles Onus and others resulted in the compromise of more than 5,000 user accounts and the theft of nearly $1 million, in all. It is alleged that, from at least in or about July 2017 through at least in or about 2018, Onus participated in a scheme to conduct cyber intrusions of multiple user accounts maintained by a company that provides human resources and payroll services to employers across the United States (the “Company”), in order to steal payroll deposits processed by the Company.
III. 26-Year-Old Florida Man Charged with Coercion and Enticement of a Minor
On June 4, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, as well as Miriam E. Rocah, Westchester County District Attorney, and several other state and federal law enforcement officials, announced the arrest of Christopher Nunez for persuading, inducing, enticing, and coercing a 15-year-old minor to engage in sexual activity. Nunez was arrested June 3 in Miami, Florida, and is scheduled to be presented today in Miami federal court.
According to the Complaint, which was filed June 1, 2021, in White Plains federal court, between in or about early March 2021 up to and including on or about May 1, 2021, NUNEZ communicated online with a 15-year-old minor (“Victim-1”) and persuaded Victim-1 to meet Nunez in person to engage in sexual activities with him. Nunez used various social media platforms to communicate with Victim-1, including Discord and Snapchat.
In his communications with Victim-1 on Discord, Nunez used the social media username, “PLMV23.” On or about April 30, 2021, and May 1, 2021, Nunez travelled to New York from Miami, Florida, to meet with Victim-1 in person in Westchester County, New York, to engage in sexual activity with her.