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A broad-based international fraud and money laundering program inspired by the infamous Nigerian prince-e-mail scam got a big blow on Thursday when federal prosecutors sued 80 people from all over the world after a three-year FBI investigation (photo: one suspect taken away) in buoys on Thursday in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles after robberies where dozens of people were arrested)

A broad-based international fraud and money laundering program inspired by the infamous Nigerian prince email scam was thrown on Thursday when federal prosecutors sued 80 people from around the world after a three-year FBI investigation.

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Authorities have unveiled 252 large jury charges in which 80 suspects, most Nigerians, were charged in a big conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a network of fraudulent schemes and then launder the money through a network in LA.

Synchronized with the "biggest case of its kind" in American history, 14 arrests were made in Southern California on Thursday. Two of the other suspects mentioned in the indictment were already in federal detention on other allegations and six others, presumably in the US, remain free.

The main defendants mentioned in the indictment, Valentine Iro, 31, from Carson and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, from Gardena, allegedly coordinated the laundering of the illegally obtained funds, in exchange for a reduction in money.

The rest of the 80 accused were allegedly based abroad.

A broad-based international fraud and money laundering program inspired by the infamous Nigerian prince-e-mail scam got a big blow on Thursday when federal prosecutors sued 80 people from all over the world after a three-year FBI investigation (photo: one suspect taken away) in buoys on Thursday in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles after robberies where dozens of people were arrested)

A broad-based international fraud and money laundering program inspired by the infamous Nigerian prince-e-mail scam got a big blow on Thursday when federal prosecutors sued 80 people from all over the world after a three-year FBI investigation (photo: one suspect taken away) in buoys on Thursday in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles after robberies where dozens of people were arrested)

Authorities have filed a 252 count jury indictment in which 80 suspects, most Nigerians, were charged in a big conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a network of fraudulent schemes and launder the money through a network in LA
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Authorities have filed a 252 count jury indictment in which 80 suspects, most Nigerians, were charged in a big conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a network of fraudulent schemes and launder the money through a network in LA

Authorities have filed a 252 count jury indictment in which 80 suspects, most Nigerians, were charged in a big conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a network of fraudulent schemes and launder the money through a network in LA

Synchronized with the "biggest case of its kind" in American history, 14 arrests were made in Southern California on Thursday. Two of the other suspects mentioned in the indictment were already in federal detention on other allegations, and six others remain free, allegedly in the US

Synchronized with the "biggest case of its kind" in American history, 14 arrests were made in Southern California on Thursday. Two of the other suspects mentioned in the indictment were already in federal detention on other allegations, and six others remain free, allegedly in the US

Synchronized with the "biggest case of its kind" in American history, 14 arrests were made in Southern California on Thursday. Two of the other suspects mentioned in the indictment were already in federal detention on other allegations, and six others remain free, allegedly in the US

According to the criminal complaint, the & # 39; s schemes used by the believed syndicate include online romances, fake business emails and targeting the elderly to steal at least $ 6 million, with attempts at another $ 40 million of victims in the US and around the world.

"The fraud schemes & # 39; s have evolved and become much more sophisticated. Nigerian fraud networks now target both individuals and businesses, & # 39; said US lawyer Nick Hanna, NBC4 reported.

Paul Delacourt, the responsible FBI Assistant Director, added: & # 39; The romance-scam prey on vulnerable populations, but the victims of BEC (Business Email Compromised Fraud) are often reputable companies and conscientious employees who suffer from advanced cyber fraud have been fooled into transferring money. & # 39;

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One of those romantic scams in the document mentioned the exchange of data between a Japanese woman and what she thought was an American army captain stationed in Syria, who started via an international social network dedicated to setting up digital pen friends.

After 10 months the interactions flourished in romance for the woman – listed as & # 39; F.K & # 39; in documents – but the cyber courtship ended with its $ 200,000 poorer and on the verge of bankruptcy after borrowing money from family members and friends to meet the demands of & # 39; Capt. Terry Garcia & # 39 ;.

Garcia had told FK of a plan to smuggle diamonds from Syria and he needed her financial support.

"The fraud schemes & # 39; s have evolved and become much more sophisticated. Nigerian fraud networks now target both individuals and businesses, & # 39; said US lawyer Nick Hanna (above).

"The fraud schemes & # 39; s have evolved and become much more sophisticated. Nigerian fraud networks now target both individuals and businesses, & # 39; said US lawyer Nick Hanna (above).

"The fraud schemes & # 39; s have evolved and become much more sophisticated. Nigerian fraud networks now target both individuals and businesses, & # 39; said US lawyer Nick Hanna (above).

One of those romantic scams in the document mentioned the exchange of data between a Japanese woman and what she thought was an American army captain stationed in Syria, who started via an international social network dedicated to setting up digital pen friends
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One of those romantic scams in the document mentioned the exchange of data between a Japanese woman and what she thought was an American army captain stationed in Syria, who started via an international social network dedicated to setting up digital pen friends

One of those romantic scams in the document mentioned the exchange of data between a Japanese woman and what she thought was an American army captain stationed in Syria, who started via an international social network dedicated to setting up digital pen friends

In reality there were no diamonds and Cpt. Garcia did not exist. The entire charade came as part of an extensive scheme hatched by the international ring of thieves.

The FBI's probe started for the first time in 2016 with a bank account and a single victim. It ran from there and included hundreds of victims, some of whom, like FK, lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"F.K. was and is extremely depressed and angry about these losses, "said the federal complaint. "She started crying when she discussed how these losses affected her."

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Her relationship with "Garcia" started for the first time in March 2016, but shortly thereafter her digital pen friend began to make "romantic overtures".

He told her that they could not speak by phone because he was not allowed to use it during military service in the Middle East.

The FBI's probe started for the first time in 2016 with a bank account and a single victim. It ran from there and included hundreds of victims, some of whom, like FK, lost hundreds of thousands of dollars

The FBI's probe started for the first time in 2016 with a bank account and a single victim. It ran from there and included hundreds of victims, some of whom, like FK, lost hundreds of thousands of dollars

The FBI's probe started for the first time in 2016 with a bank account and a single victim. It ran from there and included hundreds of victims, some of whom, like FK, lost hundreds of thousands of dollars

FK made approximately 35 to 40 payments to Garcia in support of the diamond shine in Syria and received 10 to 15 emails daily requesting to send money to bank accounts in the US, Turkey and the UK.

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The woman was even threatened with arrest by the fraudsters if she did not meet their payment requests.

At one point, FK traveled to Los Angeles because a Russian bank manager had misappropriated $ 33,000 of her money.

Each of the accused mentioned in the indictment is charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft. Various countries are also confronted with extra fraud and money laundering costs.

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