NIGERIAN NATIONAL EXTRADITED ON MISSISSIPPI FEDERAL FRAUD CHARGES
Gulfport, Miss – Following an arrest in May, 2014 of fifteen individuals in South Africa, Canada, California, Wisconsin, and Indiana, ADEKUNLE ADEFILA, a Nigerian living in Canada, has been extradited to face charges in the Southern District of Mississippi, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Raymond Parmer, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New Orleans.
The indictment alleges a West African transnational organized crime enterprise was involved in numerous complex financial fraud schemes over the internet. This mass marketing fraud includes romance scams, re-shipping scams, fraudulent check scams and work-at-home scams, along with bank, financial and credit card account take-overs.
The investigation was initiated in October, 2011, by HSI agents in Gulfport after U.S. law enforcement officers were contacted by a female in Mississippi who was the victim of a sweetheart scam. The victim received a package in the mail requesting that she reship the merchandise to an address in Pretoria, South Africa. The investigation later revealed that the merchandise was purchased using stolen personal identity information and fraudulent credit card information of persons in the United States. Investigators have identified hundreds of victims of this scam in the United States, resulting in the loss of millions of U.S. dollars.
The case is prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Annette Williams and Scott Gilbert and Robert S. Tully of the Organized Crime Gang Section.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, an indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.