DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — A Canadian resident who ran a “romance” scam on an Internet dating site that caused nearly $300,000 in losses to victims, including some in North Texas, was sentenced today.
Oluwaseun Oyesanya, 25, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $287,103 in restitution. He pleaded guilty in October 2014 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. A co-conspirator in the case, Olusegun Damiola Fajolu, 30, of Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty to the same offense earlier in September and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 17, 2015.
Oyesanya has remained in custody since his arrest in March 2014 at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on a related federal complaint. Fajolu was arrested in Oklahoma City on a separate, but related, federal criminal complaint in April 2015.
According to documents filed in the case, beginning at least in late March 2012 and continuing to March 10, 2014, Oyesanya used the internet alias of “Trisha Jones” to carry out a “romance” scam on the internet dating website, tagged.com. Oyesanya created an online profile for “Trisha Jones,” and using that alias, befriended individuals on the site, and then cultivated a relationship through email and instant messages until an online romantic relationship blossomed.
After establishing the relationship, Oyesanya convinced his victims into believing “she” was in trouble in a foreign country and needed funds wired to “her” as soon as possible. Once the victims agreed to assist “Trisha,” in what they believed was “her” hour of need, Oyesanya directed the victims where to wire the funds.
Co-defendant Fajolu received the funds either directly from the victims or through another co-conspirator. Fajolu would then wire the funds to Oyesanya or to Oyesanya’s family members in various countries, including Nigeria, knowing these funds were the proceeds of a fraud being perpetrated by Oyesanya. For his assistance, Fajolu would keep approximately 30 percent of the funds he received from victims. In addition, according to the filed complaint, Fajolu and another individual purchased a vehicle in Burleson, Texas, with funds from the “romance” scam and had it shipped to Nigeria for Oyesanya.
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