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US Sentences Heavy Jail Term to 419 Scammers

Three Nigerians were sentenced different jail terms totaling up to 17 years by a US federal court in Brooklyn, New York for swindling Americans of more than $1.2 Million. The scam was the traditional "419" scam wherein the victim is first asked to send money in exchange of a payoff of larger amount of money.

According to the US Department of Justice, the culprits sent spam e-mails to several thousands of potential victims and in those e-mails they wrongly claimed to control wealth of millions of dollars in abroad, as reported by SCMAGAZINE on April 3, 2009.

At an instance, the scammers circulated e-mails that purported to be coming from a cancer patient who was seeking assistance for donating nearly $55 Million to charity. In return of victim's (scammers) help, the scammers offered 20% commission to the person or a donation of his/her choice. Thus, several Americans offered to transfer money and aid the patient. But they ended-up in losing substantial amounts to these scammers as later no payoff sum was sent to them.

The offenders included a Nigerian citizen Nnamdi Chizuba Anisiobi, 31, who was sentenced a jail-term of 87 months while Anthony Friday Ehis, 34 (from Senegal) and Kesandu Egwuonwu, 35 (from Nigeria) got 57 months jail-term separately.

All the three scammers were arrested by the law enforcement authorities in Amsterdam, Australia in the beginning of 2006, following the alert issued by Dutch government to the US Postal Inspection Service about unlawful activities and transactions. It came out in the joint investigations of the two that these scammers used different aliases, e-mail addresses and phone numbers.

A fourth scammer Lenn Nwokeafor also involved in the scam escaped to Nigeria, though Nigerian authorities arrested him pursuant to the US arrest warrant. He will now be extradited to the US.

Meanwhile, Attorneys who gave the verdict to the scammers have warned the US residents to safeguard themselves against such e-mail scams. They suggested the recipients of the e-mails offering handsome amounts in exchange of commission that such e-mails should be immediately deleted.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

» SPAMfighter News - 09-04-2009

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