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Press Release

Des Moines Woman Sentenced to 16 Months in Prison for Nigerian Email Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

DES MOINES, IA – On June 20, 2017, Victoria Lovan, age 67, of Des Moines, Iowa, appeared before Chief United States District Court Judge John A. Jarvey and was sentenced to 16 months in prison for charges related to a Nigerian email scam, announced United States Attorney Kevin E. VanderSchel. Lovan was sentenced to 16 months of imprisonment for three counts of wire fraud, and was ordered to pay restitution to the victims.


On January 25, 2017, Lovan pleaded guilty. Lovan admitted between November of 2012 and October of 2014, she communicated with individuals over the Internet who persuaded her to accept money wires from victims across the country, and send the money wires to Nigeria. These individuals contacted persons across the country and overseas, and told them false stories to induce them to send money. Lovan kept a portion of the funds she received before sending the remainder to her associates in Nigeria.


At least 89 victims sent Lovan money because of these fictional stories of hardship and promises of financial gain. Lovan continued to engage in fraudulent financial transactions despite being told by law enforcement to cease her activity. In 2016, Lovan deposited two fraudulent checks at two different credit unions, again at the direction of individuals located abroad.


The investigation was conducted by the Des Moines Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.





Learn more about this release by calling Rachel J. Scherle at 515-473-9300, or by emailing her at



Updated June 20, 2017