The three Nigerian nationals were part of a 21-member gang of cyber criminals, of which six, including Ayelotan, Raheem, and Mewase, were extradited from South Africa to the Southern District of Mississippi in July 2015 to face charges in the case.
- Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan, 30, faces up to 95 years in prison
- Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, 31, faces up to 115 years in prison
- Femi Alexander Mewase, 45, faces up to 25 years in prison
A federal jury found all of them guilty of offenses involving mail fraud, wire fraud, credit card fraud, identity theft, and theft of government property, the US Department of Justice announced Thursday.
Also, Ayelotan and Raheem were found guilty of conspiracies to commit bank fraud and money laundering, which is why they have been given longer prison sentences.
The gang has been operating since 2001 and ran a variety of online scams, including romance scams, where the criminals used the false identity of love-struck girlfriends on a dating site to establish a romantic relationship with unsuspecting victims.
Until now, the justice department has charged a total of 21 suspects in this case: 12 defendants have already pleaded guilty to charges related to the conspiracy while 11 have been sentenced to date.