KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City man has pleaded guilty in federal court to participating in a nationwide romance scheme and defrauding victims of nearly $900,000.
Ronayerin K. Ogolor, 50, is a naturalized citizen originally from Nigeria.
He pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
He was nabbed by federal agents in October 2018 at Kansas City International Airport before he boarded a plane to Frankfurt, Germany.
According to the affidavit, Ogolor was part of a conspiracy targeting people looking for companionship or romance since 2013.
Court documents say Ogolor used websites such as Facebook, ChristianMingle.com, or Hangout.com to target 13 victims, some who were elderly.
“Conspirators directed the victims to wire transfer or deposit money into various bank accounts, including accounts established and maintained by Ogolor,” the affidavit said.
The affidavit added that once the victims would transfer money into the account, the scammers would say more money was needed.
One victim, a widow in Indiana, sent Ogolor $450,000 because she believed Ogolor was a widower working on an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana. Another victim, this on in Texas, sent him at least $300,000. That victim believed Ogolor was a widower and U.S. Army general deployed in Afghanistan.
Ogolor faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. In addition, he will have to pay back the $878,489 that he stole from the victims.