Two men tricked women on social media and dating apps to give them money totaling millions of dollars, according to prosecutors.
Kinston Osagie, 53, and Roland Ighiwiyisi, 40, were indicted this week on federal charges in connection to the alleged scam. Osagie is based in Los Angeles and Ighiwiyisi is based in Nigeria.
Prosecutors say Osaige opened at least 18 different bank accounts between January 2015 and August 2020 and received $6 million in case, checks and wire deposits. At least $3 million was traceable to the romance fraud.
The duo would find people looking for romantic partners on sites such as Tinder and Match.com, according to prosecutors.
The scam artists created profiles using various names, photos and locations to lure their victims. When the victims believed they were in a relationship, the scammer offered numerous reasons why they couldn’t meet in person, according to prosecutors. The scammers eventually convinced the victims to send money or gifts.
Ighiwiyisi and Osagie were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
In one case, Osagie laundered more than $260,000 from one woman he met on Match.com. In another incident, he got more than $20,000 through a woman he met on the app Words with Friends.
The duo faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.