SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A federal grand jury indicted eight men in connection with a fraud scheme primarily targeting widowed women over 65 years old.
The indictment alleges that over about two years, the defendants defrauded dozens of victims out of more than $6 million, which they laundered through accounts they controlled.
According to the indictment, the defendants and unnamed co-conspirators used social media and social gaming apps to target widows. Investigators said the defendants created false identities to befriend potential victims, feigned romantic interest, and eventually pressured them to send money.
The men allegedly pretended to be a businessman in Europe, high ranking United States military officers, a successful Utah businessman, an individual in Sweden under house arrest, and an engineer working as a subcontractor for a large oil company working in Oman.
Charged in the indictment are Jeffersonking Anyanwu, 25, Daniel Negedu, 21, Onoriode Kenneth Adigbolo, 31, Chukwudi Kingsley Kalu, 28, and Godsent Nwanganga, 24, all living in Orem; David Maduagu, 27, living in Taylorsville; and Richard Ukorebi, 38, and Adrianna Sotelo, 20, both of West Valley City
All defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and one count of money laundering conspiracy. Anyanwu, Negedu, Adigbolo, Kalu, Ukorebi, Nwanganga and Sotello are also each charged with one count of money laundering.
The maximum potential penalty for each of the first four counts in the indictment is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 (or double the stolen amount). The penalty for each money laundering and money laundering conspiracy count is 10 years in federal prison and $250,000 (or double the laundered amount).
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