Aikorogie used counterfeit foreign passports to open bank accounts in fake identities, quickly withdrew funds wired into those accounts by duped victims, and transferred the money to others, including a Nigerian man he did not know whom he met at a mall, with the understanding that the money was going to Nigeria. At least some of Aikorogie's victims were led to believe that their money was going to men who had wooed them online, professing their love and even going so far as to propose marriage.
Consider the truly predatory nature of Aikorogie's crimes, as set forth in part in the DOJ Release:
The victim, now 72 years of age, was a widow with advanced Parkinson's disease. A fraudster contacted her over Facebook and began wooing her online and over the phone. He repeatedly told the victim that he loved her and said he had a son, whom he put on the phone to chat with the victim. The fraudster claimed to be a building engineer living in Florida and that he had been awarded a construction contract in Malaysia. After allegedly arriving in Malaysia, he began asking the victim for money for various reasons, including to pay foreign taxes, help with equipment repair, and to cover his hospital bills when he fell ill. This fraudster asked the victim to wire money to a bank account that Aikorogie had opened in the fake name of "Tinashi Chipo" using a counterfeit Zimbabwean passport sent to him by a man in Nigeria. From October to November 2016, the victim wired $55,000 into this account. Aikorogie promptly withdrew the money in cash and gave it to co-conspirators.A second victim, now 79 years of age, was a divorced retiree who lived alone. Her only income was Social Security and a small pension. A fraudster contacted her over Facebook and began wooing her online and over the phone. He claimed to be a widower in Pennsylvania with a college-age daughter. He told the victim that he was traveling to Malaysia for work. After allegedly arriving in Malaysia, he began asking the victim for money for various reasons, including to help pay medical bills and taxes. The victim sent money using Western Union and MoneyGram. The fraudster told the victim that he needed additional money and persuaded her to sell her house, saying he would also sell his home and they would marry and buy a house together when he returned to the United States. The victim sold her house and, in December 2016, wired $20,500 of the proceeds to the "Tinashi Chipo" account opened by Aikorogie. Aikorogie promptly withdrew the money in cash and gave it to co-conspirators.Aikorogie used counterfeit foreign passports in fictitious names to open three additional bank accounts. Altogether, seven victims wired a total of $188,600 into Aikorogie's accounts in just six months. Federal agents found five additional counterfeit passports in different names at Aikorogie's apartment and the address where he received his mail.
Side Bar: Sayon Balogun a/k/a "Oshine," 32, pled guilty in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts Sayon Balogun a/k/a "Oshine," 32, a dual citizen of the United States and Nigeria, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy, and he was sentenced to 42 months in prison plus years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $434,832 in restitution. Co-conspirator Oghenetchouwe Adegor Ederaine, Jr. pled guilty to aggravated identity theft and money laundering conspiracy and he was sentenced to 40 months in prison. Rhode Island Man Sentenced to Prison for Conspiring to Launder Funds From Email Compromise Scheme (DOJ Release)https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/rhode-island-man-sentenced-prison-conspiring-launder-funds-email-compromise-scheme As alleged in part in the DOJ Release:In January 2018, Balogun's co-conspirators gained access to email accounts belonging to a Massachusetts attorney engaged in real estate closings. The co-conspirators then mimicked (spoofed) the real estate attorney's email account and sent emails to a Massachusetts resident who was the purchaser in a legitimate real estate transaction. The spoofed emails directed the Massachusetts real estate purchaser to wire transfer $531,981 (which the purchaser believed was for a legitimate real estate transaction) to the Wells Fargo account of a California woman, who in turn sent $60,000 to an account in the name of "David Tecum," a fraudulent identity used by one of Balogun's co-conspirators, Oghenetchouwe Adegor Ederaine, Jr. This account, and others, were opened by Ederaine to receive fraudulent proceeds at Balogun's direction.
SIDE BAR: 18 U.S.C. Section 3624: Release of a Prisoner:§ 3624. Release of a prisoner(a) DATE OF RELEASE.-A prisoner shall be released by the Bureau of Prisons on the date of the expiration of the prisoner's term of imprisonment, less any time credited toward the service of the prisoner's sentence as provided in subsection (b). If the date for a prisoner's release falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday at the place of confinement, the prisoner may be released by the Bureau on the last preceding weekday.(b) CREDIT TOWARD SERVICE OF SENTENCE FOR SATISFACTORY BEHAVIOR.-(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a prisoner who is serving a term of imprisonment of more than 1 year other than a term of imprisonment for the duration of the prisoner's life, may receive credit toward the service of the prisoner's sentence, beyond the time served, of up to 54 days at the end of each year of the prisoner's term of imprisonment, beginning at the end of the first year of the term, subject to determination by the Bureau of Prisons that, during that year, the prisoner has displayed exemplary compliance with institutional disciplinary regulations. Subject to paragraph (2), if the Bureau determines that, during that year, the prisoner has not satisfactorily complied with such institutional regulations, the prisoner shall receive no such credit toward service of the prisoner's sentence or shall receive such lesser credit as the Bureau determines to be appropriate. In awarding credit under this section, the Bureau shall consider whether the prisoner, during the relevant period, has earned, or is making satisfactory progress toward earning, a high school diploma or an equivalent degree. Credit that has not been earned may not later be granted. Subject to paragraph (2), credit for the last year or portion of a year of the term of imprisonment shall be prorated and credited within the last six weeks of the sentence. . . .As noted in Section 3624(b) above, the United States Bureau of Prisons can only give 54 days of "good time credit" for each year served if the sentence is "more than 1 year." Of course there is clearly an illogic in applying that to a felon sentenced to one year and one day (which is, indeed, more than a year). Pointedly, how can BOP apply the 54-days credit to any sentence of more than 1 year until that year-plus has been served? After all, you supposedly "earn" those 54 days of reduced sentence during each year of incarceration; however, in practice, felons sentenced to one year and one day are often released after about 10 months. Since the BOP is supposed to credit "up to 54 days at the end of each year of the prisoner's term of imprisonment," how can such a credit be calculated prior to the expiration of such a term -- which is what happens when someone is given an anticipatory credit before the expiration of the one year and one day sentence.Cynically, a sentence of one year and a day fulfills the prerequisite of extending beyond a year, and, in practice, typically results in an early-release of 54 days, thus producing the result that a 366 day sentence normally results in only 312 days of incarceration. Making matters even more absurd, BOP uses some mystical math to calculate good time, as was noted in Michael Gary Barber, et al., Petitioners, v. J. E. Thomas, Warden (Opinion, United States Supreme Court / June 7, 2010) (560 U.S. ___ (2010))https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/pdf/09-5201P.ZOFor those of you who love brain twisters, try to work through this Appendix to Barber:A fuller example of the BOP's method for calculating "credit for the last year or portion of a year of the term of imprisonment"The defendant is sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. As a prisoner he exhibits exemplary behavior and is awarded the maximum credit of 54 days at the end of each year served in prison. At the end of Year 8, the prisoner has 2 years remaining in his sentence and has accumulated 432 days of good time credit. Because the difference between the time remaining in his sentence and the amount of accumulated credit (i.e., 730 - 432) is less than a year (298 days), Year 9 is the last year he will spend in prison. (Year 10 has been completely offset by 365 of the 432 days of accumulated credit.) Further, Year 9 will be a partial year of 298 days (the other 67 days of the year being offset by the remainder of the accumulated credit).Here is where the elementary algebra comes in. We know that x, the good time, plus y, the remaining time served, must add up to 298. This gives us our first equation: x + y = 298.We also know that the ratio of good time earned in the portion of the final year to the amount of time served in that year must equal the ratio of a full year's good time credit to the amount of time served in a full year. The latter ratio is 54/365 or .148. Thus, we know that x/y = .148, or to put it another way, x = .148y. Because we know the value of x in terms of y, we can make a substitution in our first equation to get .148y + y = 298. We then add the two y terms together (1.148y = 298), and we solve for y, which gives us y = 260. Now we can plug that value into our first equation to solve for x (the good time credit). If we subtract 260 from 298, we find that x = 38.The offender will have to serve 260 days in prison in Year 9, and he will receive 38 days additional good time credit for that time served. The prisoner's total good time is 470 days (432 + 38 = 470). His total time served is 3180 days.As a final matter, while we have described the foregoing as the method to calculate credit for the portion of the last year to more transparently track the relevant statutory language, we note that the mathematical formula can be used to calculate the amount of maximum available credit for an entire sentence. Using the equations supplied above, if we divide the total number of days in a sentence by 1.148, we get the minimum number of days that a defendant must serve in that sentence. If we then subtract the number of days served from the total number of days in the sentence, we arrive at the maximum number of good time credit days the prisoner can earn. The statute, however, awards them on a yearly basis (but for the "last year or portion" thereof).