Photo: WFXT
Photo: WFXT

DOJ: Metro Atlanta residents stole $1.5M in online dating scam

Seven Nigerian nationals, four of whom live in metro Atlanta, have been indicted for allegedly conducting an online dating scam that cost lovelorn victims more than $1.5 million, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release.

READ | DOJ: Gwinnett real estate agent defrauded clients out of $22M

The seven defendants created fake profiles on dating sites, sometimes using images of government officials or models, the Justice Department said. The defendants would carry on relationships for months over online messaging, texts and phone calls, tricking “lonely individuals into giving them money,” said U.S. Attorney BJay Pak in the release. 

“Some victims lost hundreds of thousands of dollars from their retirement savings or inheritances,” Pak said. 

After gaining love and trust over multiple months, the defendants would create “elaborate false stories” in order to convince victims to send them money via wire or online transfers, according to the release. Between the seven they are charged with 60 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, identity theft and use of false passports.

The defendants are:

• Olu Victor Alonge, a.k.a Serge Damessi, a.k.a. Didier Baraze, a.k.a. Mobo Marcus Adeh, a.k.a. Ayo Baraze, a.k.a. Nicolas Soglo, 34, of Newnan

• Ugochukwu Lazarus Onebunne, a.k.a. Policap Tizhe, a.k.a. Saheed Ademoha, 41, of Douglasville

• Olajide Olalekan Adara, a.k.a. Kelvin Mensah, 33, of Loganville

• Joshua Adedeji Ipoade, 28, of Atlanta

• Oladunni Temitope Oladipupo, 24, of Lynn, Massachusetts

Two other defendants have not been apprehended and their identities have not been made public.    

Like AJC on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter

Police are working to learn if the whole thing was a setup

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.