10 Indicted In $1.5M Nigerian E-Mail Scam

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ten people have been indicted on federal charges for running a $1.5 million California-based Nigerian e-mail scam targeting mostly elderly people.

Los Angeles prosecutors say three defendants pleaded not guilty on Monday. Alleged ringleader Claudio Uche Dibe, a Nigerian national, was extradicted from Canada on Feb. 4 and the 25-year-old Gardena man pleaded not guilty last month.

Prosecutors say in a news release that spam e-mails sent to thousands of potential victims falsely claimed to have control of millions of dollars in inheritance money in Nigeria. Victims were promised large amounts of money if they sent a fees to the defendants.

The Nigerian 419 scam, which references the section of the Nigerian criminal code that deals with fraud, got about $1.5 million from at least two dozen victims.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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