Nigerian Benard Okorhi jailed in U.S. over $10m fraud

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Nigerian, Benard Emurhowhoariogho Okorhi has been sentenced to serve 75 months in U.S. federal prison for his role in an international fraud conspiracy.

Okorhi, 42, is the 11th member of the fraud gang to be jailed. He was initially living in Ghana, operating a business known as Coolben Royal Links LTD.

His gang used compromised email accounts to steal from businesses and romance scams on internet dating sites to trick individuals into wiring money overseas.

The scheme was estimated to have cost residents of the U.S. approximately $8 million dollars.

The total scheme was estimated to have netted over $10 million worldwide during criminal enterprise’s five-year lifespan.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Murphy Jr., announced the sentence on Wednesday.

The group also compromised the email networks of many businesses, redirecting wires intended to pay for services or goods to bank accounts under the control of the scammers.

Evidence presented in a Memphis, Tennessee court revealed that Okorhi and others, some U.S. citizens, some residents of Ghana and Nigeria–created fake profiles on online dating services to entice people looking for companionship into fraudulent relationships.

Once the victim was fully involved, the scammers would develop elaborate storylines that always required the victim to send financial assistance to his or her beloved.

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