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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Third Member of Internet Romance Fraud Scheme to Serve 102 Months in Federal Prison

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma NNAMDI FRANKLIN OJIMBA, 36, currently from Chicago, Illinois, has been sentenced to 102 months in federal prison for his role in a fraudulent romance scheme involving victims throughout the United States, announced Timothy J. Downing, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

On October 17, 2017, a grand jury indicted Ojimba for conspiracy and wire fraud.  According to the indictment, the scheme involved using false profiles to open accounts on online dating websites and then courting victims by pretending to be successful financial advisors or affiliated with charitable causes.  Over time, through supposedly romantic relationships, the defendant and others caused victims to share personal information about their finances and then encouraged victims to wire them money on the pretext of managing their investments.  The conspirators actually kept the money for personal use.  Ojimba was arrested in Chicago in October, 2017. After a jury failed to reach a unanimous decision in October, 2018, Ojimba was re-tried on the conspiracy count in August 2019 and was convicted by a jury. He has been in federal custody since his conviction.

Yesterday, Chief United States Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti sentenced Ojimba to 102 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.  He was also ordered to pay restitution totaling almost $3.5 million.

Two other participants in the scheme were convicted separately. In 2017, KEN EJIMIFOR EZEAH, 38, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced to 11 years in prison following a plea of guilty. AKUNNA BAIYINA EJIOFOR, 36, also of Houston, was sentenced to a prison term of 7 years after being convicted at trial. For more information, please see https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdok/pr/two-sentenced-11-and-7-years-federal-prison-46-million-internet-romance-fraud.

The case was the result of an investigation by the Oklahoma City office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy W. Ogilvie.

Updated July 9, 2020