Seven Nigerian nationals have been indicted for operating online romance fraud scheme that cost victims nationwide over $1.5 million in losses.

A federal grand jury  returned two indictments charging seven Nigerian nationals with federal charges ranging from wire fraud to identity theft arising from their operation of online romance fraud schemes that cost users of American dating websites over $1.5 million in losses.

Federal agents have arrested five of the seven defendants – two defendants remain at-large.

“The defendants in these cases allegedly used fake personas on online dating websites to trick lonely individuals into giving them money,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “The defendants would allegedly spend weeks cultivating online relationships with their victims before defrauding them.  Some victims lost hundreds of thousands of dollars from their retirement savings or inheritances.  Users of online dating websites should be aware of such scams and should exercise extreme caution if asked for money by anyone online or over the phone.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the indictments charge the defendants with a total of 60 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, identity theft, and use of false passports. The defendants charged in the indictments are as follows:

●Olu Victor Alonge, a/k/a Serge Damessi, a/k/a Didier Baraze, a/k/a Mobo Marcus Adeh, a/k/a Ayo Baraze, a/k/a Nicolas Soglo, 34, of Newnan, Georgia;

●Ugochukwu Lazarus Onebunne, a/k/a Policap Tizhe, a/k/a Saheed Ademoha, 41, of Douglasville, Georgia;

●Olajide Olalekan Adara, a/k/a Kelvin Mensah, 33, of Loganville, Georgia;

●Joshua Adedeji Ipoade, 28, of Atlanta, Georgia;

●Oladunni Temitope Oladipupo, 24, of Lynn, Massachusetts; and

●Two other defendants are fugitives and their identities remain sealed.

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