Two people admit roles in Nigerian fraud scheme that bilked citizens of hundreds of thousands of dollars

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Two people accused in a Nigerian fraud scheme pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy during a court hearing in Mississippi, federal prosecutors said.

Edafe Onoetiyi, 34, of Nigeria but living in Dallas, and Susan Johns, 55, of Bothell, Washington, entered the pleas in U.S. District Court in Natchez, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi said in a news release.

Court documents show the defendants conspired with each other and other people to defraud American citizens by transferring bank account information, personal identity information and other access devices to create and transfer fraudulent loans and perpetrate other forms of theft resulting in the transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars within the U.S. and abroad, including Canada and Nigeria, the news release said.

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“Many of the victims of the fraud were romance scheme victims, wherein fraudsters concealing their true identities duped innocent victims into either sending money or allowing the fraudsters to use their bank account to move fraudulently obtained money,” the news release said.

Onoetiyi and Johns will be sentenced Sept. 6. They each face up to five years and a $250,000 fine.

The convictions are the result of a multi-year investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations.