A Nigerian has pled guilty to money laundering for his role in online frauds.
The Nigerian, 28-year-old Kenneth Ogudu, who lives in Columbus, Ohio, was involved in an online fraud and money laundering scheme.
Mr. Ogudu pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and agreed to pay $324,865.85 in restitution.
Court document details that Mr. Ogudu conspired with other individuals to participate in a series of romance and other online scams designed to defraud victims into sending money to accounts and debit cards that Mr. Ogudu and others controlled.
“Kenneth Ogudu, also known as Kenneth Lee, 28, a citizen of Nigeria residing in Columbus, Ohio, was involved from at least May 2019 to October 8, 2020, with Kenneth Emeni, John Nassy, Romello Thorpe, Oluwagbenga Harrison, Ouluwabamishe Awolesi, and others in a money-laundering conspiracy that took place in Huntington, West Virginia and elsewhere,” the court document stated.
According to the court filings, Mr. Ogudu and his co-conspirators created false online profiles and contacted victims through emails, text messages, online dating, and social media websites.
They made their targets believe they were in a romantic or business relationship with the fake profiles and persuaded them to send money into his bank account.
U.S. authorities revealed that Mr. Ogudu and his co-conspirators were involved with the online fraud scheme from May 2019 to October 8, 2020.
Mr. Ogudu further admitted that he and his co-conspirators transferred large sums of their fraud proceeds to offshore accounts.
The Nigerian obtained funds from at least 12 different fraud victims during the money laundering conspiracy.
He kept some of the money for himself and forwarded some to his co-conspirators via wire transfers or Zelle.
Mr. Ogudu faces up to 20 years in prison. He will be sentenced on December 13, 2021.