March 23, 2006 2:24 PM PST

Four men charged in Nigeria e-mail scam

A quartet of suspected e-mail scammers--three of them Nigerian citizens--could face scores of years in prison if convicted on fraud and conspiracy charges, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.

A grand jury in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Wednesday charged Nnamdi Chizuba Anisiobi, Anthony Friday Ehis, Kesandu Egwuonwu and another unnamed defendant with one count of conspiracy, eight counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. Anisiobi also faces one count of bank fraud.

According to the Justice Department's charges, New York-based victims of the e-mail scams lost more than $1.2 million to the fraudsters.

Their schemes resembled a popular fraud ploy, sometimes called a 419 scam, or an advance-fee scheme, that has dogged the African nation. Their perpetrators typically send letters and e-mails to thousands of victims, offering a large sum of money and attempt to dupe them into paying fees beforehand. The criminals then pocket the cash and shirk their end of the fake bargain.

One incident described in the 27-page indictment involved a suspect who posed as a suffering throat-cancer patient native to the Southeast Asian nation of Brunei. He said he was too ill to distribute his cache of $55 million to charity and needed help, promising a 20 percent commission in return. But anyone who fell for the offer encountered a number of bogus "shipment" and processing fees numbering in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Three of the suspects were first arrested in February in Amsterdam, where they were living at the time. They are being held by authorities until their extradition to the United States. The fourth suspect is a fugitive.

If convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison for mail and wire fraud, 30 years for bank fraud, and five years for the conspiracy charge.

Dutch authorities, which initiated the investigation, are no strangers to dealing with suspected Nigerian scammers. In 2004, their bust of a suspected ring yielded 52 arrests.

Last year, a Nigerian court sentenced a woman to two-and-a-half years in prison after she pleaded guilty to conspiring in what was called the nation's biggest scam case ever--a $242 million fraud incident involving a Brazilian bank. The country has stepped up its focus on the problem in recent months, teaming up with Microsoft and British officials to spread warnings about scammers.

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11 comments

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Wow! People *actually* fell for these scams??
Now THAT is truly shocking!

Perhaps more than the "scammers" ought to be prosecuted?!! ;)
Posted by yipcanjo (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Won't run out.......
Only one new sucker born every minute? Man, I think that number a bit low. Too bad we can't legislate against stupidity.
Posted by wowk99 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Anyone stupid enough to fall for these scams deserves it.
You can't cheat an honest person.

And these "victims" weren't honest.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You b. Stupid (kamwmail-cnet1) is a complete tool
Posted by Moron:
>>You can't cheat an honest person. And these
>>"victims" weren't honest.

That's bull and you know it. They play on people's sympathy and not everyone is as cynical or jaded as you are. The victims are sometimes elderly or disabled and are told it will help their local church, charity, and it is not all about greed of the victim like you think. Only fools think like that. you = fool

Plus I bet you blame all those looking for love souls that get vitimized for being "not honest" when they get scammed by russian brides to be and the "I need money to travel to the US to be with you" scams.

In closing, I wish you a penniless existance.
Posted by booboo1243 (328 comments )
Link Flag
You b. Stupid (kamwmail-cnet1) is a complete tool
Posted by Moron:
>>You can't cheat an honest person. And these
>>"victims" weren't honest.

That's bull and you know it. They play on people's sympathy and not everyone is as cynical or jaded as you are. The victims are sometimes elderly or disabled and are told it will help their local church, charity, and it is not all about greed of the victim like you think. Only fools think like that. you = fool

Plus I bet you blame all those looking for love souls that get vitimized for being "not honest" when they get scammed by russian brides to be and the "I need money to travel to the US to be with you" scams.

In closing, I wish you a penniless existance.
Posted by booboo1243 (328 comments )
Link Flag
You b. Stupid (kamwmail-cnet1) is a complete tool
Posted by Moron:
>>You can't cheat an honest person. And these
>>"victims" weren't honest.

That's bull and you know it. They play on people's sympathy and not everyone is as cynical or jaded as you are. The victims are sometimes elderly or disabled and are told it will help their local church, charity, and it is not all about greed of the victim like you think. Only fools think like that. you = fool

Plus I bet you blame all those looking for love souls that get vitimized for being "not honest" when they get scammed by russian brides to be and the "I need money to travel to the US to be with you" scams.

In closing, I wish you a penniless existance.
Posted by booboo1243 (328 comments )
Link Flag
To all of the truly stupid people online responding to the Nigerian Scam posts (kamwmail-cnet-1 included):
Hmmm, rather easy for you to judge someone else while having no clue as to what really happened to the victims of these scams. I was scammed, although I do destest the word victim. I had posted a resume on Jobvertise.com looking for at home work. I was finishing college, working a low-paying part time job, needed extra money and tried to find a job the RIGHT WAY, was contacted by scammers, and unfortunately got burned. They told me I was hired as an accountant for a charity, which seemed logical considering that I was a math tutor. The fact is, I wasn't stupid- I was and still am (thank God) a loving, caring, responsible person who always strives to do the right thing, help people legitimately, and keep my life on the straight and narrow.
My problem was not greed or dishonesty. The scammers deliberately tricked me into believing that I was working for a legitimate company that saved starving, diseased, dying, uneducated, poor children in Africa- which I know exist from TV commercials and telethons. Now, I know how to check for stuff like that and verify a company, but at the time, I was not aware that people even had scams going on- which is due to my 100% honesty and love for people and the fact that I would never do such a thing to anyone for any reason or amount of money.
Posted by lala_circe (1 comment )
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Message has been deleted.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Learn more about these scams
At <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.scamorama.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.scamorama.com/</a> -- I'm not affiliated, I just enjoy the articles there about how some of these scammers were scammed back &lt;g&gt;.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I Want To Share With You
There are new scams going on around on a web site called myspace.com I know for I have fallin victim to a love scam these people on there are using pictures from modeling web sites like Black Ebony, Eye Candy, Black Cutie
Posted by Silly4Love2 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
hi i have a man that meet my mother on myspace he tell her that he is from texas and in africa on vacatoin she is 65 he say he is 58 he is going by the name of donald adams i dont think it him she has been talking to him 4 about a month now he is telling her that he loves her when he comes back he wants to get a house together now his son is sick they cant come back to the u.s they need money she wont listen to me what wood you do he wants her to give him 2,000 and when he gets back to the u.s he will give her 4,000
Posted by sks614 (1 comment )
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