Federal prosecutors say that they have indicted 80 people in a widespread web of fraud schemes, primarily tied to Nigerians.
Prosecutors, in a 252-count indictment, said that a the charges were brought against a widespread conspiracy that stole millions of dollars from the elderly and businesses. 14 people were arrested in the United States, with many of the remaining defendants living in Nigeria.
“Today’s announcement highlights the extensive efforts that organized criminal groups will engage in to perpetrate (business compromise email) schemes that target American citizens and their hard-earned assets,” said Assistant Director in Charge Paul Delacourt of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “Billions of dollars are lost annually, and we urge citizens to be aware of these sophisticated financial schemes to protect themselves or their businesses from becoming unsuspecting victims.
All of the defendants will face charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft.