Online romance scams lord, Elvis Eghosa Ogiekpolor, 46, of Norcross, Georgia, has been jailed for 25 years for using websites, email scams, and other online swindles to steal more than $9.5 million from companies and individuals.
According to US Attorney Ryan Buchanan, he was part of an “international network of online fraudsters and money launderers.”
Between October 2018 and August 2020, Ogiekpolor instructed cybercriminals to open more than 50 fraudulent business bank accounts in Georgia. These accounts were opened under the names of sham companies created by cybercriminals. During these months, Ogiekpolor further instructed “money mules” to open up multiple phony bank accounts without any intention of doing anything with them.
Fraudulent accounts have been set up to support his business. If one of them is flagged, the source says they will simply open a new account at another bank.
Ogiekpolor allegedly helped other criminals to steal money from countless Americans and businesses.
Ogiekpolor told the victims that he needed money and would be unable to start his life with them until it was resolved. He asked them to send in a large sum of money first, without ever meeting in person. And thirteen people testified against him in court.
Screenshots taken by an FBI agent show that a money mule convinced a victim to wire $32,000 to an Ogiekpolor-controlled account.
The victim said she transferred the money because her boyfriend told her that he needed a part replacement for his oil rig but that his bank account was frozen. The victim then borrowed against her retirement and savings to send him the $32,000, and she ultimately had to refinance her home to pay back the loan.
Meanwhile, the victim’s testimony adds to their dark legacy. For example, the victims tell us that after receiving an email from a real vendor requesting money for a new supply, they would make the payment only to learn that it was in fact from a fraudster who had duped them into transferring funds to Ogiekpolor’s account.
Ogiekpolor was charged in February 2022, by a federal grand jury with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 15 counts of substantive money laundering. He was later convicted after an eight-day trial.
After Ogiekpolor serves his time in federal prison, he’ll have a three-year supervised release.
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