A Nigerian man has been sentenced after being found guilty of laundering $1.89 million in a mail and wire fraud scheme that targeted Pennsylvania women, according to a release by the US Department of Justice.
Jabin Godspower Okpako, 36, and his wife, Christine Bradley Okpako, 54, of Sayre, Pennsylvania, used three bank accounts in Nigeria to transfer funds out of the United States, prosecutors say according to the release.
The couple targeted women, ranging in age from 55 to 85, using Instagram, Facebook, Words with Friends, and What’s App, according to the release.
After cultivating online relationships, the pair would convince the women to send money for fictitious reasons, prosecutors said.
The fictitious purposes for the funds included, but are not limited to the following, according to prosecutors: helping a worker in Alaska who fell from a tower; sending aid to the United Nations; recovering a $6 million inheritance; purchasing an apartment in Washington, D.C.; repairing machinery and equipment on an oil drilling rig; paying for medicine; and making an investment in gold among others.
The pair continued their criminal activity despite receiving a warning letter from the FBI concerning their behavior, according to the release.
Okpako was sentenced to serve 87 months or seven years in federal prison by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Matthew W. Brann of the US Middle District of Pennsylvania on Wednesday, according to the release.
In addition to his sentence, Okpako will pay restitution in the amount of $440,950 and he must forfeit proceeds of the criminal activity, according to the release.
Okpako’s wife pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit money laundering through mail and wire fraud, but she is still awaiting sentencing, according to the DOJ.
Source: Daily Voice