4:42 pm - Monday January 19, 3424

Disgraceful: America’s Federal Grand jury indict Nigerian resident, MARK AROME OKUO, Kenyan girlfriend, Florence Nwede Musau for stealing $1.3million in Bank/Wire Fraud…lavished proceeds from crime since 2018 under fake names *Okuo used a fake Nigerian passport to open bank account where he deposited over $35,000 cash, and lover girl withdrew fund in less than one hour *Suspects face maximum sentence of 60 years in prison *BY EMMANUELLA AYODEJI/SPECIAL Financial Crimes Reporter, Canton & GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Foreign Editor

Disgraceful:

America’s Federal Grand jury indict Nigerian resident, MARK AROME OKUO, Kenyan girlfriend, Florence Nwede Musau for stealing $1.3million in Bank/Wire Fraud…lavished proceeds from crime since 2018 under fake names

*Okuo used a fake Nigerian passport to open bank account where he deposited over $35,000 cash, and lover girl withdrew fund in less than one hour

*Suspects face maximum sentence of 60 years in prison

*BY EMMANUELLA AYODEJI/SPECIAL Financial Crimes Reporter, Canton & GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN Foreign Editor

THEY ARE AFRICANS. They have brought disgrace to their families forever. MARK AROME OKUO, a Nigerian resident in Canton, and Kenyan girlfriend, Florence Nwede Musau are facing 60 years jail term for stealing a whooping sum of $1.3million under the pretense of romance or marriage and business investment (which never happened). The duo has been caught by the web of justice.

A federal grand jury has indicted a Okuo on one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud in what prosecutors say was a series of romance scams that netted $1.3million. The 41-year-old Nigerian has been in jail since he was first arrested in March. Okuo was initially charged along Musau, a-36-year-old who also live in Canton.

Musau was indicted before Okuo and, in June, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. Federal prosecutors said in court documents they will ask for a four- to five-year sentence for Musau. Musau faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and must forfeit $349,375. She is set to be sentenced Jan. 19. Investigators said in charging documents that the pair deposited $1.3 million in proceeds from scams dating back to 2018 into bank accounts under real and fake names, including $195,000 obtained through five romance scams.

Okuo’s indictment lists three victims. The first, a woman from Illinois, met an unnamed co-conspirator online in 2018. The co-conspirator told the woman he was serving in the military and wanted to retire and live with her, but he needed money to buy his early retirement.

Okuo used a fake Nigerian passport to open an account where at least $35,000 was deposited, and Musau withdrew the cash from the account, federal prosecutors say.

Prosecutors and investigators said in court filings that the second victim, a woman from Georgia, sent at least $4,700 to an account Okuo opened under the pretense that the scammer was stranded in Kuwait after retiring from the oil industry. The scammer wanted to marry her and move in with her. June 22, 2021: Canton woman Florence Musau pleads to role in romance scams that netted $1.3million.

A third victim, in Ohio, sent scammers at least $6,500, which Okuo withdrew from the bank, prosecutors said in the indictment.

Okuo faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

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