LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- Three Nigerian men have bagged more than 21 years prison term for alleged international multi-million-dollar inheritance scam in the United States.
London News Online reports that the trio, all in their forties, lived across South London and committed the fraud by sending unexpected personalised letters to elderly victims in the United States.
The letters falsely claimed that the sender was a representative of a bank in Spain and that the recipient was entitled to receive a multi-million-dollar inheritance left by a family member who had died years before in Portugal.
Victims were then persuaded to pay charges and costs to release the fake assets.
The suspected identified as, Jonathan Abraham, Emmanuel Samuel, and Jerry Chucks Ozor, were arrested in an unspecified location in South London by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers in 2022 April.
According to reports, between them, the men will have to pay back more than $20 million in restitution orders, an order directing an offender to pay back victims for some or all of the money taken.
All three men were sentenced at a court in Miami, United States.
Abraham was sentenced to seven years and six months, Samuel, of Longhurst Road, Croydon, was jailed for six years and 10 months, while Ozor, was jailed for seven years and three months.
Head of financial investigation at the NCA, Gary Cathcart, said, “This was a transnational, high-harm fraud, where a dispersed network of ruthless criminals worked together to identify and target victims, inflicting life-changing damage to vulnerable people.
“International cooperation is essential to tackle such criminals; by working with our partner we can disrupt fraud and better protect the public.”
A spokesman for the NCA added, “Millions of people are targeted by scam messages, letters or phone calls like this every year.
“So if something seems suspicious or unexpected, such as requests for money or information, contact the organisation directly to check.
“Use contact details from their official website, not those given in the message, letter, email or a telephone call.”