Nigerian Family Jailed For 252 Months in US for Internet Dating Scam
A U.S District Judge, Paul W. Grimm has sentenced Gbenga Ogundele aka Benson Ogundele, age 58; of Laurel, Maryland to 234 months in prison, and sentenced his wife, Moji Popoola, aka Mojisola Oluwakemi Tin Popoola, age 42, to 18 months in prison, each followed by three years of supervised release.
They were jailed for conspiracies to commit wire fraud and money laundering arising from a scheme to defraud vulnerable victims of millions of dollars. Ogundele was also convicted of aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.
Judge Grimm ordered that Mojisola Popoola’s supervised release is to be served in home detention. He also ordered Ogundele to forfeit $2.2m, and ordered Mojisola Popoola to forfeit approximately $165,000 and to pay restitution of $34,100.
On March 20, 2017, Judge Grimm sentenced Moji Popoola’s brother, Babatunde Emmanuel Popoola, age 34, of Bowie, Maryland, to 12 years in prison, on the same charges. He ordered Babatunde Popoola to pay restitution of $465,170.76.
Ogundele and the Popoolas were convicted on November 18, 2016. One of their co-conspirators, Victor Oyewumi Oloyede, age 42, of Laurel, Maryland, was also sentenced to 234 months in prison.
Co-conspirators Olusegun Charles Ogunseye, age 59 of Laurel, Maryland, Olufemi Wilfred Williams, age 28, of Owings Mills, Maryland, and Adeyinka Olubunmi Awolaja, Jr., age 34, of New Carollton, Maryland, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Judge Grimm scheduled sentencing for Awolaja on June 12, 2017, for Ogunseye on July 25, 2017, and for Williams on July 27, 2017, all at 2:30 p.m.
In a related case, Funmilayo Joyce Shodeke, age 67, of Burtonsville, Maryland, pleaded guilty on March 22, 2017 to conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business, and was sentenced to 13 months’ probation, and ordered to forfeit $29,900.