A 36-year-old Chicago man was sentenced this week to more than eight years in federal prison for his role in a fraudulent internet romance scheme.
On Oct. 17, 2017, a grand jury indicted Nnamdi Franklin Ojimba for conspiracy and wire fraud in a scheme using false profiles to open accounts on online dating websites to lure victims by pretending to be successful financial advisors or affiliated with charitable causes.
Through the scheme, supposed romantic relationships were entered and victims shared personal information about their finances. Fraudsters encouraged the victims to wire money under the pretext of managing their investments. Instead, money was kept for their personal use.
On Oct. 2017, Ojimba was arrested in Chicago. After a jury failed to reach a unanimous decision in October, 2018, Ojimba was re-tried on the conspiracy count in August 2019 and was convicted by a jury. He has been in federal custody since his conviction.
On Wednesday, Chief United States Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti sentenced Ojimba to 102 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution of nearly $3.5 million.
Two other participants in the scheme were convicted separately.
In 2017, Ken Ejimifor Ezeah, 38, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced to 11 years in prison following a plea of guilty.
Akunna Baiyina Ejiofor, 36, also of Houston, was sentenced to a prison term of seven years after being convicted at trial.