Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nigerian Man Pleads Guilty in Philadelphia To Internet Frauds


(The US Courthouse in Philadelphia. File photo by Tony Hanson)
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Nigerian man has pleaded guilty in connection with an online scheme to rip off people who were selling items on Craigslist, prompting homeland security officials to once again warn area residents about these scams.
Adebowale Owoaje was in federal court in Philadelphia (photo) yesterday, where he admitted to four counts of wire fraud.
Prosecutors say he would negotiate a price with the seller, then use a co-conspirator to send what turned out to be a fake cashier’s check to that person for more than the selling price. He would then ask the seller to wire the balance back to the other person, who would take a cut and send the rest overseas.
“Our investigation revealed Mr. Owoaje was successful in defrauding US-based victims of over $100,000,” says Homeland Security investigations assistant special agent in charge William Walker.  “These were funds that ultimately were sent back to Nigeria for his benefit.”
Walker’s best advice: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Owoaje is facing a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison and fines up to $1 million.  Sentencing is scheduled for mid-April.
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