judge sentences canadian man for "Grandson" scheme
PHILADELPHIA - Anthony Oluwole Ojo, 44, of Ontario, Canada, was sentenced yesterday to 45 months in prison for running a scam in which he pretended to be a relative of his victims and in need of help. Ojo, and/or others working with him, would telephone his victims, most of whom were elderly, from Canada, and would claim to be the victim's grandson. The victims were told their grandson had been arrested and needed money to pay legal expenses. Ojo, and/or those working in concert with him, would instruct the victim to wire funds, using Western Union, MoneyGram or a similar service, to a fictitious name provided by Ojo. The victim would do so at which point Ojo, using a false means of identification in the fictitious name provided to the victim, would receive the wired funds. If the victim complied, Ojo would then contact the victim again to obtain more money. In one instance, an elderly victim was tricked into wiring money on numerous occasions resulting in a loss to her of $106,400. As a result of the scheme, Ojo defrauded more than 120 victims of at least $643,503.97, in total. Ojo pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud on May 14, 2012.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Joel H. Slomsky ordered Ojo to pay restitution of $643,503.97. Ojo also faces possible deportation.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Linwood C. Wright.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525