A Nigerian national who was indicted in April 2021 in connection with a large fraud and money laundering scheme is facing 20 years imprisonment after pleading guilty before a United States jury on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.
According to court documents and statements made in connection with the plea hearing, Kenneth Emeni, 29, a citizen of Nigeria residing in Martinsburg, was involved from at least August 2017 to October 8, 2020, with Kenneth Ogudu, also known as Kenneth Lee, John Nassy, Romello Thorpe, Oluwagbenga Harrison, Ouluwabamishe Awolesi, and others in a money laundering conspiracy that took place in Huntington and elsewhere.
Emeni lived in Huntington from August 2017 to December 2019. As part of the scheme, Emeni’s co-conspirators created online false personas and contacted victims via email, text messaging or online dating and social media websites in order to induce the victims into believing they were in a romantic relationship, friendship or business relationship with various false personas.
The victims were persuaded to send money for a variety of false and fraudulent reasons for the benefit of the false personas.