Federal Agents Take Down Nigerian Scammers in Money-Laundering Ring

Alma Angotti Shares Her Insights in Voice of America Article

Nigerian nationals Valentine Iro and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe facilitated a series of schemes that resulted in the theft of at least $6 million and the attempted theft of $40 million. They worked with nearly 80 other international swindlers between 2014 and 2018 to carry-out these schemes in more than 10 countries, according to the 252-count federal indictment.

The indictment documents 16 corporate victims, the elderly, and victims of “romance scams.” A clothing distributor wired almost $46,000 believing they were paying a Chinese vendor for men’s shirts, and a Texas company wired $187,000 because they thought they were making a payment for an oil extraction equipment order. A Japanese woman lost more than $200,000 during a 10-month romance scam, believing that he was a U.S. Army captain stationed in Syria. 

The investigation is shedding light on the evolving scamming strategies, from the scammers focusing solely on individuals and now increasing their focus on businesses. Guidehouse’s Alma Angotti, managing director and co-lead of the global investigations and compliance practice, is quoted in a Voice of America article stating “They were very inclusive as to the fraud they were perpetrating and laundering money for.” 

Of the 80 individuals involved in the money-laundering ring, 17 people have been arrested and federal investigators are in the process of tracking down the rest.


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