NATCHEZ, Miss. (WJTV) – On Tuesday, two defendants in a Nigerian fraud scheme pled guilty to conspiracy in U.S. District Court in Natchez

According to court documents, Edafe Onoetiyi, 34, of Nigeria, but living in Dallas, Texas; and Susan Johns, 55, of Bothwell, Washington, pled guilty.

Prosecutors said the defendants conspired with each other and other individuals to defraud American citizens by transferring bank account information, personally identifiable information, and other access devices to create and transfer fraudulent loans and perpetrate other forms of theft, resulting in the fraudulent transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars both internally within the United States as well as to locations abroad, including Canada and Nigeria. 

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 United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Mississippi will prosecute those who prey upon American citizens by fraud and deceit,” said U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca. “The efforts of Homeland Security Investigations led to this prosecution and we are grateful.”

Onoetivi and Johns will be sentenced on September 6, 2022, in Natchez. They each face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.