Emmanuel Samuel, a Nigerian based in the U.S., has been sentenced to 82 months in prison for defrauding a U.S. senior citizen.
Mr Samuel, 39, was sentenced to prison on June 21, for “his role in a transnational inheritance fraud scheme,” U.S. Department of Justice announced in a statement.
District Court Judge Kathleen M. Williams sentenced Mr Samuel in Miami, ordering him to make “restitution payments to victims of his offences.”
Citing a court document, the U.S. Justice Department said Mr Samuel “was part of a group of fraudsters that sent personalised letters to elderly victims in the United States, falsely claiming that the sender was a representative of a bank in Spain and that the recipient was entitled to receive a multimillion-dollar inheritance left for the recipient by a family member who had died years before in Portugal.
“Victims were told that before they could receive their purported inheritance, they were required to send money for delivery fees, taxes, and payments to avoid questioning from government authorities. Victims sent money to the defendants through a complex web of U.S.-based former victims. The defendants convinced these former victims to receive money from new victims and then forward the fraud proceeds to others.”
Mr Samuel’s two other co-defendants, Jonathan Abraham and Jerry Ozor, are billed to be sentenced in the coming months by Judge Williams.
Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, was quoted to have said “the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch will continue to pursue, prosecute, and bring to justice transnational criminals responsible for defrauding U.S. consumers, wherever they are located.
“Working together, U.S. and foreign law enforcement can and will thwart schemes such as the one charged in this case and prevent further loss to American victims.”
Mr Samuel’s sentence comes days after the U.S. Department of Drug Enforcement Administration declared a Nigerian-American Oluwasheun Akorede wanted for drug trafficking.