06:57 GMT28 October 2020
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    Six Nigerians, One South African Plead Guilty in Online Dating Scheme

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    Seven nationals of African countries have pleaded guilty to US charges they took part in a conspiracy to defraud Americans through online dating scams, according to the US Department of Justice.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Seven nationals of African countries have pleaded guilty to US charges they took part in a conspiracy to defraud Americans through online dating scams, the Department of Justice announced in a press release Friday.

    “The defendants admitted that, to accomplish their fraud schemes, they recruited the assistance of U.S. citizens via ‘romance scams,’ in which the perpetrator would typically use a false identity on a dating website to establish a romantic relationship with an unsuspecting victim,” the release stated. “Once the perpetrator gained the victim’s trust and affection, the perpetrator would convince the victim to either send money or to help carry out fraud schemes.”

    The release, citing plea agreements in the case, explained that the defendants and other conspirators began the scam as far back as 2001, using counterfeit checks and money orders, as well as stolen credit card numbers and personal-identification data, to entice victims to send them tens of millions of dollars.

    Charged in the conspiracy and pleading guilty this week to one count each of mail-fraud conspiracy and wire-fraud conspiracy, the release said, were South African national Rhulane Fionah Hlungwane, 26, along with Nigerian nationals Gabriel Oludare Adeniran, 30; Olusegun Seyi Shonekan, 34; Taofeeq Olamilekan Oyelade, 32; Olufemi Obaro Omoraka, 27; Anuoluwapo Segun Adegbemigun, 40; and Adekunle Adefila, 41.


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