The three Nigerian nationals were involved in large-scale international fraud. They were extradited to the United States in July 2015 from South Africa. Oladimeji Seun, 30, was sentenced to 95 years, Rasaq Aderoju 31, has been sentenced to 115 years while Femi Alexander 45, has been sentenced to 25 years. The three were found guilty after a three-week trial in early 2017 where a federal jury in the Southern District of Mississippi found each defendant guilty of Mail Fraud, credit card fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, and theft of government property.

A total of 21 people have been charged so far in this case.

How the crimes were committed

According to evidence by investigators, the three and others began their illegal acts back in 2001. The majority of their crimes were internet based. They mostly convinced their victims to cash counterfeit checks and money orders. They used stolen credit cards to buy electronics and other merchandise and used stolen personal information to take over bank accounts. These crimes led to the loss of tens of millions of dollars.

The perpetrators would also approach unsuspecting victims on U.S dating sites, a term referred to as romance scam. The perpetrators would convince the victim to send them money or help them carry out fraud schemes once they established a romantic relationship.

The victims would often send them cash through MoneyGram and Western Union as well as send them fraudulently obtained items and assist them in cashing counterfeit checks.

Investigators on this case were the U.S immigration and customs enforcement, the U.S. Postal Inspection service and homeland security cyber crimes center.

Authorities in South Africa and Senegal also assisted in the investigations.

Romance scams

A romance scam is entering into a romantic relationship with someone with the intention of committing fraud. Perpetrators committing this type of scam will try and gain access to the victim's personal details such as credit card and bank account information, money, national or social security identification number as well as e-mail accounts.

Scammers use tactics such as catfishing where they post stolen photos of attractive people on social media or dating sites. The victim will be groomed for some time and will be asked to send money such as airplane tickets so that the penetrator can visit the victim or be asked to pay for expenses such as education fees or medical bills.

Advance-fee scam

This type of fraud is where a victim is promised vast sums of money upon sending a small amount of cash to the perpetrator. For example, paying a small fee in exchange for the inheritance of an estate once the offender completes paying inheritance processing fees or paying a small fee to enable the perpetrator to unlock vast sums of money held in a foreign bank account.