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Press Release

Leader Of Money Laundering And Bank Fraud Ring Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison

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

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ADEDAYO JOHN was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska to seven years in prison for his role as a leader of a money laundering and bank fraud ring that laundered millions of dollars in proceeds derived from business email compromises and romance fraud schemes impacting more than 50 victims.  JOHN previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud on January 4, 2024.  In total, 11 defendants have pled guilty for their roles in the money laundering and bank fraud schemes.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “The defendants in this case have acknowledged their roles as part of a criminal enterprise that not only defrauded businesses by assuming the online identities of legitimate entities, but also preyed on elderly people, deceiving victims into sending money in phony romance scams.  As a leader of the scheme, Adedayo John played a particularly important role in the enterprise and victimization of individuals and companies across the country.  Today’s sentence ensures that he will be held accountable for his actions.”

According to the Indictment and other court documents:

JOHN, OLUWADAMILOLA AKINPELU, KAZEEM RAHEEM, MORAKINYO GBEYIDE, WARRIS ADENUGA, a/k/a “Blue,” SMART AGUNBIADE, LATEEF GOLOBA, SAMSONDEEN GOLOBA, OLAWOYIN PETER OLAREWAJU, EMMANUEL ORONSAYE-AJAYI, and ARAMIWALE SHITTU (collectively, the “defendants”) participated in either a money laundering conspiracy, a bank fraud conspiracy, or both, which received funds stolen from victims.

Victims were typically defrauded in one of two ways.  In some instances, business email compromise fraud schemes were used to trick businesses into transferring funds to bank accounts the victims believed were under the control of legitimate recipients of the funds as part of normal business operations, when in fact the bank accounts were under the control of the defendants or their co-conspirators.  In other instances, romance scams were used, primarily through electronic messages sent via email, text messaging, social media, or online dating websites, to deceive victims – many of whom were older men and women – into believing they were in romantic relationships with fake identities, and then using false pretenses to cause the victims to transfer funds to bank accounts controlled by the defendants or their co-conspirators.

As a result of these frauds, law enforcement officers have identified transfers of more than $19 million into bank accounts under the control of the defendants.

JOHN was a leader of the U.S.-based members of the business email compromises and romance fraud schemes.  JOHN directed other members of the conspiracy to open new bank accounts and/or to be ready to receive money that was going to be sent from others, and he assisted members with procuring fake passports and other identification documents in order to open fraudulent bank accounts.  JOHN also attempted to facilitate the delivery of flowers to a victim of one of the the romance scams.  As part of the scheme, approximately $4.5 million in fraud proceeds passed through bank accounts opened and/or controlled by JOHN, and JOHN led a group of individuals based in the U.S. for whom approximately $19 million in fraud proceeds passed through their bank accounts.

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In addition to the prison term, JOHN, 35, of Katy, Texas, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $4,513,438.23 and two vehicles.  He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,561,562.95.  In total, the defendants in this case were ordered to forfeit over $25 million in fraud proceeds and pay over $8 million in restitution. 

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the U.S. Secret Service.  

The case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Connie Dang, Kaylan Lasky and Matthew Weinberg are in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff, Shelby Wratchford
(212) 637-2600

Updated June 25, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-231