Sayre man arrested and sentenced for laundering $1.89M from victims

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SAYRE, BRADFORD COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Sayre man was sentenced to just over seven years in prison for conspiring to launder around $1.89M in fraudulent mail and wire fraud schemes.

According to U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus, Jabin Godspower Okpako, 36, and his wife, codefendant Christine Bradley Okpako, 54, also of Sayre, received around $1,898,046 in proceeds from mail and wire fraud schemes.

Officials say the funds were then laundered through a number of banks and wire transfers in multiple states, and then transferred the money out of the country to three separate accounts in Nigeria.

The Department of Justice release stated, Okpako sought to defraud multiple female victims throughout the country, ranging from 55 to 85 years old.

The victims visited websites and apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Words with Friends and What’s App. Okpako’s conspirators would befriend the victim and then begin online relationships with the victims, the release reads.

Officials say the conspirators would then falsely get the victims to send them money for various fake reasons including assisting a worker in Alaska who fell from a tower, to purchase an apartment in Washington D.C., to assist the United Nations, to recover a $6M inheritance, and to make an investment in gold.

According to the release, the unindicted conspirators would instruct the victims to send checks or cash to Okpako and Bradley Okpako to their home in Sayre.

The press release states, during Okpako’s sentencing, Chief Judge Brann said Okpako and his wife continued to transfer fraudulent funds to banks that closed their accounts based on the suspicious and irregular nature of the transactions.

Jabin Godspower Okpako was sentenced to just over seven years in prison and is ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $440,950 to the victims and he must forfeit proceeds of the criminal activity, the press release states.

Officials say Christine Bradley Okpako pleaded guilty on Wednesday, March 31, to conspiracy to commit money laundering through the mail and wire fraud. She is now awaiting trial.

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