States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|February 16, 2010||
FEDERAL JURY FINDS NIGERIAN CITIZEN GUILTY OF CHARGES RELATED TO INTERNET “ADVANCE FEE” FRAUD SCHEME
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in Bridgeport has found OKPAKO MIKE DIAMREYAN, 31, a citizen of Nigeria who sometimes resided in Accra, Ghana, guilty of three counts of wire fraud stemming from an alleged “advance fee” scam. The trial began on February 11 and the jury returned its verdict this afternoon.
According to the evidence presented during the trial, in an “advance fee” scam, a victim is persuaded to pay money (an “advance fee”) in order to obtain a larger sum of money that never materializes. From approximately August 2004 through August 2009, DIAMREYAN engaged in advance fee scams against a resident of Connecticut and others around the country. As part of the scheme, DIAMREYAN sent numerous fraudulent email messages in which he claimed to have a “consignment” stored in Ghana containing amounts ranging from $11.5 million to $23.4 million. DIAMREYAN offered the victims 20 percent of the money if they would help him transfer the money to the United States, and he provided fraudulent documents to the victims to persuade them that the money existed. In an effort to persuade his victims to pay fees in connection with transferring the money to the U.S., DIAMREYAN used different identities, including Prince Nana Kamokai of Sierra Leone, General Odu Kuffour of Ghana, and the Rev. Dr. Richard Camaro, airport director in Accra, Ghana.
Judge Hall has scheduled sentencing for May 7, 2010, at which time DIAMREYAN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000, on each count.
This matter has been investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the United States Department of Defense. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward Chang.
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