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Old 06-24-2020, 04:58 PM
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Default BLACK AFRICANS from NIGERIA charged in $6 million online dating scam targeted 33 people

https://nypost.com/2020/06/24/new-je...e-dating-scam/

Married NJ couple charged in $6 million online dating scam targeted 33 people
By Lia Eustachewich
June 24, 2020 | 12:38pm | Updated
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A married couple from New Jersey has been busted for bilking more than $6 million in an online dating scam that duped 33 people — including one woman who resorted to stealing from her employer, prosecutors said.

Martins Friday Inalegwu, 31, and Steincy Mathieu, 24, are accused of wooing victims through online dating sites like eHarmony, Plenty of Fish and Match.com and striking up “relationships” with them. Then they’d allegedly convince their “lovers” to wire them money for bogus emergencies, like customs fees and taxes or medical, travel and business expenses.

The pair, who live in Maple Shade and have two young children, carried on the scheme from October 2016 to May 2020 with the help of co-conspirators, several of whom are from Nigeria, New Jersey US Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

One victim, a finance director, embezzled $4 million from her employer to send to a man she’d met on Match.com named “George Marek,” a purported widower from Kentucky who bought and sold jewels for a living, according to a criminal complaint. Little did the woman know, she was wiring cash into accounts controlled by Inalegwu and Mathieu.

The victim resorted to stealing from her employer “after exhausting her savings, liquidating her retirement account, borrowing from friends and family, taking out a personal loan, and maxing out her credit cards,” the complaint said. The unidentified woman, who struck up the relationship with Marek in September 2016, has pleaded guilty to charges related to the embezzlement.

In total, Inalegwu, Mathieu and the co-conspirators allegedly swiped more than $6 million from more than 33 victims identified by authorities — including $3.1 million that was sent directly to the couple. They allegedly blew the money on personal expenses and transferred some to bank accounts controlled by conspirators in Nigeria and Turkey, prosecutors said.

Three of the victims were also ripped off in a rental scam, with Inalegwu, Mathieu and their cohorts allegedly advertising apartments they didn’t own and collecting application fees and security deposits.

“After Inalegwu, Mathieu and conspirators collected the money, the victims never heard from them again,” prosecutors said.

The couple was charged Tuesday with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Inalegwu was arrested Tuesday and ordered held without bail because he’s considered a flight risk, according to court records. Mathieu is still in the wind.

Mathieu is a US citizen , while Inalegwu is a native of Nigeria who became a permanent resident in 2018 , according to a criminal complaint.
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