A Nigerian national, Adedunmola Gbadegesin, was on Friday sent to a 60-month jail term for a money laundering conspiracy.
Gbadegesin, who was arrested in Nigeria in September 2021, had also been charged with wire fraud over his involvement in an international romance scheme. The charge was, however, dropped in a plea deal.
The romance scheme cost a Lexington woman approximately $200,000, the Kentucky Herald-Leader reported.
The Nigerian pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy in September, the report added, citing court documents.
Before his sentencing, Gbadegesin was said to have admitted his guilt in court, claiming he got involved in the scheme to feed his family but was apologetic for his actions.
His lawyer asked for a 36-month prison sentence while the prosecution recommended 63 months. But U.S. District Judge, Karen Caldwell, sentenced Adedunmola Gbadegesin to a five-year jail term and also directed he forfeited the sum of $38,000 recovered from him.
Gbadegesin was part of a “romance scheme” that would set up fake online profiles on dating websites and then lure their victims, mainly older women, into thinking they were in a relationship and milk them for money.
On April 27, 2022, Gbadegesin was extradited to the United States where he was wanted in a case of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
The offences contravene Title 18, US Code, Section 1349 and 1956 (h) and carry a maximum jail term of 20 years.
His extradition was coordinated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, following a request from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, pursuant to a February 11, 2022 order by Justice D. Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/765/21, which granted a request to extradite the suspect to the US United to answer to criminal charges bordering on romance scam, wire fraud and money laundering.