Posted by Timige, On 4 Apr, 2022 | Updated On 3 Jun, 2023 No Comments »
On February 2, 2071, U.S. District Court, East St. Louis, Illinous, sentenced a Nigerian Internet Scammer, Olayinka Ilumsa Sunmola, to 27 years imprisonment for defrauding American ladies of about $1.7 million. Also, he is to forfeit properties and pay back his victims. The fraud was done through elaborate international romance scam.
Evidence presented at the court revealed that Olayinka was the leader of an online fraudsters operating in South Africa. The criminals majorly targeted and schemed American ladies with promise of true and enduring love. Many of his victims were Illinois women.
The Yahoo Boy Format: How the scamming went
Olayinka Sunmola, concocted several fake online profiles on social media, friendship and dating sites disguising as an American soldier stationed oversea or engineer working on project abroad or a businessman on a business tour in foreign countries. One of his bogus profiles is that of Elias Dyess on Match.com.
On his profile, he used photographs and information of real American men stolen from hacked online accounts. He also gathered facts about the American cities he pretended to be from. Sunmola, a specialist in romance scam, always showered his victims with chocolate, flowers, cards, poetry and stuffed animals, leading the ladies to believe that he was their one true love and the real man they could spend the rest of their lives with.
Once he had successfully charmed his targets, Ilumsa began to invent fake emergencies, each of which needed increasingly large amount of money from his victims. He cashed on each woman’s romantic feelings, manipulating them into sending him money or shipping him electronics like tablets, smart phones and laptops computers which he claimed needed for to finish his engineering project abroad. The ladies were told to direct their shipment to Ilumsa Sunmola, who was told them as their lovers’ driver, co-worker or hotel manager. Once he had slowly sapped these women dried or the women stopped sending things anymore, he quickly cut off the relationship immediately.
Apart from romance scam, Sunmola was also involved in fake or stolen traveler’s checks and stolen credit cards. Sending the checks to his lovers and asking them to cash them and wire the money to him. One of his ladies was arrested by local police and jailed, charged with theft by forgery and deception.
He also specialized in getting naked pictures and videos of these ladies and used the items to extort money from them. Jane Doe, a Southern Illinois District resident, was one of such. She was prompted by Ilumsa to perform sexual acts on camera. Sunmola used the video and extorted more from Jane by threatening him to publish it on internet. Jane – a partially disable lady, and her family sent him the money he demanded.
Sunmola, the Nigerian Scammer, Investigation and Arrest
After a report by a woman, a federal grand jury sitting in East St. Louis, Illinois, in November 20, 2013, indicted Olayinka of mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy and interstate extortion. On July 2, 2014, Washington DC Interpol office issued an Interpol Red Notice and subsequently on August 9, 2014 at London Heathrow Airport, Sunmola was arrested by Metropolitan Police when he was about to board British Airway to Johannesburg, South Africa. He eventually pleaded guilty on March 2, 2016.
Olayinka Ilumsa Sunmola Havoc on Victims
The court could not establish the exact amount of money Sunmola and his gang stole. But it was believed that over $1.7 million was wired to Ilumsa based on the victim who responded to the court request for information.
The fraud made about three women bankrupt. Several lost their jobs, homes and were left in complete financial wreckage. A victim who testified in the court lost over $90,000 to the scammer. One computer manufacturer lost over $800,000 to Sunmola.
More terrible than the financial hardship, Sunmola caused his victims deep emotional damage. Many of the ladies even went to the extent of getting wedding gowns because of the promise of marriages Sunmola gave them. Some felt depressed and contemplated suicide.
Ilumsa Sunmola asset in South Africa and Nigeria
Sunmola, while tactically destroying his victims, used their money on luxurious parties and acquired the following assets:
- Two Range Rovers.
- Four houses in South Africa:
- Erf No. 219, Stand No. 59 Grysbok Avenue, Theresa Park, Ext 1, Akasia.
- Erf No. 991, Stand No. 90 Lynn Road, Karen Park, Ext. 40, Pretoria North.
- Unit No. 882, Wonderpark Estate, Corner 1st Avenue and Primula Street, Karen Park, Pretoria North.
- Unit number 19 (Door number 209), Sunset Acres, 42 Benmore Road (corner 2 Vickie Avenue), Benmore Gardens, Johannesburg.
- $363,000 house in Nigeria.
- R19 730.10 in his ABSA bank account in South African.
On 1 April 2015, in the Pretoria High Court, the National Prosecution Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained a forfeiture order in regard of Sunmola’s possessions. The superintendent has sold the assets and the proceeds sent to United State of America for paying back Ilumsa’s victims.
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