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Nigerian Man Imprisoned For 12 Years

A Nigerian man, Okpako Mike Diamreyan, 31, has been sent to the US prison for over 12 years for running an advance payment scam, as reported by The Register on September 3, 2010.

Nigerian advance-fee scams often involve somebody presenting himself as an affluent individual, who urgently needs to transfer massive amounts of funds from one place to another. However, these individuals deceive victims to help them by paying the necessary fees for the transfer of funds. The scammers assure the victim to repay the victims' fee later.

Besides imprisonment, Diamreyan needs to pay nearly $1.3 Million in compensation to the 67 victims targeted by him between 2004 and 2009. The prosecutors have revealed that the $1.3 Million loss to victims was a conservative estimate as it covered only those who had direct dealings with Diamreyan.

The prosecutors stated that Diamreyan and his partner put in great efforts to deceive victims. In one of the e-mails, Diamreyan claimed that he was in a refugee camp in Ghana, trying to move a shipment worth $23.4 Million out of the country and they also appeared as the government or bank officials to lure the victims to pay advance fees.

Victims, who replied to their initial solicitations, were pressurized through e-mail and phone to get them to transfer money to pay the advance fees. One victim got more than 1,200 calls in a span of two years, while some of the users had to disconnect their web service and phone lines to ignore them.

As per the charges filed against the Nigerian, the defendant started committing advance-fee fraud in Ghana and Nigeria no later than 2004. The prosecutors said that during 2008, the Nigerian citizen, who sometimes stayed in Ghana, gave impetus to the scam after moving to the US, as several victims preferred to deal with a person residing in America. Several marks were conned out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The prosecutors argued that the imprisonment was at the low end of 151 months to 188 months. The feds stated that a harsh sentence was required because Diamreyan would probably return to Nigeria, where he could again continue the scam with impunity.

Related article: Nigerian Scammers Secure Huge Money from Australian Victims

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