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Press Release

Jury Finds Romance Scammer Guilty on All Counts

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Utah
Romance scam cost victims around the United States and world over $600,000 in losses

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A federal jury convicted Clinton Chukwudi Uchendu, 26, of Dunwoody, GA, today for his involvement in a romance scam that cost victims more than $600,000. In a five day trial, Uchendu was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of mail fraud, and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. 

According to evidence presented at trial, from February 2018 through October 2018, Uchendu participated in a money laundering conspiracy that involved receiving and transmitting funds from victims of romance scams. The object of the conspiracy was accomplished though social manipulators, referred to as “Yahoo Boys” who set up fake profiles online, developed relationships with their victims, gained the victims trust and then asked the victims for money using a variety of false pretenses. “Yahoo Boys” usually operate overseas, in this case, Nigeria, pretending to be United States soldiers, international businessmen, or celebrities. “Yahoo Boys” rely on their coconspirators in the United States, who have U.S. bank accounts to assist them. These individuals are referred to as “pickers.” As a “picker,” Uchendu provided accounts to collect funds from the victims and to add layers to conceal the source and destination of the funds, to avoid being flagged by banks. Uchendu collected money into bank accounts and then laundered the funds to Nigeria or other destinations. 

At trial, the jury was presented with evidence that, Uchendu also participated in mail fraud and aided the operations of an unlicensed money transmitter. Several victims testified to losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition to these victims’ testimony, evidence showed Mr. Uchendu received money from dozens of people from around the United States, whom he did not know, which he transmitted to Nigeria after retaining a portion of the money. 

Uchendu is scheduled to be sentenced June 7, 2024, at the Orrin G. Hatch United States District Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City. 

United States Attorney Trina A. Higgins of the District of Utah made the announcement. 

The case is being investigated by the FBI Salt Lake City Field Office

Assistant United States Attorneys Carl D. LeSueur and Stewart Young of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah are prosecuting the case. 


Felicia Martinez
Public Affairs Specialist
(801) 325-3237
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Updated March 22, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-32