BY KELLY ROCHE
A 34-year-old Mississauga man is one of three charged in connection with a $5 billion money laundering conspiracy linked by police to an elaborate ‘romance scam.’
Toronto Police opened the romance scam file in August 2014, alleging a 63-year-old Toronto widow was bilked out of $609,000.
During the investigation, cops learned their case was related to a complex probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and United States Postal Inspection Service in which victims were sending money to fraudulent accounts.
Ikechukwu Amadi, 34, of Mississauga, and Lineo Molefe, 31, of Toronto were arrested on Oct. 7 in Peel region and charged with laundering the proceeds of crime and fraud over $5,000 in relation to the romance scam.
Police said Amadi is linked to a FBI case in which six people have been indicted. Victims were defrauded of more than $5 billion in an alleged wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.
A third Greater Toronto Area suspect was identified and tied to the Black Axe or Neo-Black Movement of Africa. Police are accusing the group of intimidating and exerting influence on Nigerians in the GTA.
The third suspect, cops allege, used the alias Martin Acker or Martins Acker Jr., claiming to be a representative of the United Nations and using fake documents from 2011.
Akohomen Ighedoise (pictured above), 41, of Toronto is charged with laundering the proceeds of crime, fraud over $5,000, and participating in a criminal organization.
American authorities are asking for Amadi and Ighedoise to be extradited once their court cases conclude.
Police believe there may be other victims and are asking anyone with information to contact Det.- Const. Mike Kelly at 416-808-7824 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.