Last week the FBI charged 80 people, mostly Nigerian con artists, with allegedly running a massive fraud ring that targeted businesses, the elderly and people looking for love online.
Fourteen people were arrested in the United States. Eleven were in the Los Angeles area, including the ringleaders, Valentine Iro, 31, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, who are Nigerian nationals residing in California. Most of the other people named in the indictment are in Nigeria.
The suspects allegedly perpetrated both romance scams and business fraud.
Many of the romance scam victims were elderly. One Japanese woman believed she was sending money to a U.S. Army captain stationed in Syria. She lost $200,000.
In the business cases, scammers often impersonated senior executives and tricked employees into wiring money to fraudulent bank accounts.
The suspects were charged with conspiracy to commit mail and bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.