The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has sentenced two Nigerian FinTech owners based in the US to 27 months imprisonment for allegedly facilitating the illegal transfer of about $167 million.
Out of the said amount, $167 million, part of which was suspected to be proceeds from internet fraud was transferred into Nigeria.
The two firm executives of Ping Express US LLC, Opeyemi Odeyale and Anslem Oshionebo, a Texan payment company pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them.
The IT/Business Development Manager of the firm, Aleoghena Okhumale, had according to DoJ’s statement pleaded guilty to knowingly transmitting illegally-derived funds.
He, therefore, received a prison sentence of 42 months.
The DoJ in a statement said that the firm executives acknowledged that they did not seek details about the sources and purposes of the funds which they facilitated their transfer into the country.
This is in addition to not getting to know the identities of the recipients of the said funds.
With this incident, Ping Express could face a five years probation term.
This is in addition to a fine of up to $500,000.
This incident also brought in some of the firm’s customers suspected to have engaged in illegal transactions through the company.
“One, Collins Orogun, admitted last week that he accepted a fee in exchange for transferring money for ‘romance scam’ fraudsters and other criminals. In one instance, an Indiana woman sent $15,000 to ‘Carson Jacks’, a purported oil roughneck in the Gulf of Mexico she fell in love with online, after he told her he’d contracted malaria.
” In another, a second Indiana woman sent $6,300 to ‘Thomas Ken,” a purported Irish ship captain she fell in love with online, to fix his ship.
“In two years, Mr. Orogun received more than $1.3 million in cash, cashier’s checks, and wires into several U.S. bank accounts he controlled, and then quickly moved more than $1 million of the funds to Africa through Ping. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and is set to be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2023,” the statement read in parts.