Five men have been indicted in federal court in Wichita as part of an international fraud investigation.
The U.S. Attorney for Kansas, Stephan McAllister, said the five men are accused of receiving money from victims of fraud in the United States and foreign countries. The frauds involved a variety of scams, including romance and investment schemes that were designed to cause victims to transfer money to bank accounts controlled by the defendants and others. Prosecutors said the defendants would then transfer the money to other accounts, mainly in Nigeria and Ghana, and they also transferred money among themselves.
The men named in the Wichita indictments are:
King Bassey Essien, 26, Wichita
Franklin Ogochukwu Okapu, 20, Wichita
Oluwatimileyin Aloyaye Frederick Diyaolu, 21, Wichita
Emmanuel Oluwaseun Daramola, 22, Wichita
Abasiakara Ime Ekanem, 22, Nigeria
The men are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. They are among more than 280 people arrested in the United States and overseas as a result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. State Department.
The investigation targeted a number of scams, including so-called romance scams that obtain money from victims by claiming their loved ones need money, and investment scams that seek money from victims looking for business opportunities.