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Press Release

Nigerian Woman Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Conspiracy

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

Hattiesburg, Miss. – A Nigerian citizen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to court documents and information presented to the Court, between 2018 and 2022, Uyoyo Mercy Abire, 28, and her coconspirators used online romance scams, online charity scams, and other types of fraud to defraud victims of their money.  The money received as a result of these scams was then transferred between the conspirators, and ultimately, much of the money was transferred overseas.   Between November 2018 and April of 2019, Abire herself transferred over $100,000.00 to coconspirators through her U.S. bank account.

Abire is scheduled to be sentenced on August 30, 2023. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.  A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI investigated the case.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Eichner originally prosecuted the case, and it is currently being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Buckner.

Updated May 31, 2023