The Binance account of Olamide Shanu, a 32-year-old man from Nigeria, has been seized by the U.S. Secret Service. This action follows the tracing of his account to a $2.5 million scheme involving wire fraud, money laundering, and extortion.
The allegations against Shanu reveal a familiar pattern reminiscent of internet fraudsters in Nigeria, commonly known as Yahoo boys. Shanu, posing as a female on social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, targeted male teenagers and unsuspecting adults. Under the guise of forming intimate relationships, he deceived victims into sharing explicit images and videos. The scheme took a dark turn when Shanu threatened to expose these materials to the victims’ friends unless they complied with his monetary demands.
Court filings obtained by Peoples Gazette provide chilling insights into the extent of Shanu’s operations. The indictment sheet filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho details explicit messages sent by Shanu, including screenshots of the victims’ personal information accompanied by threats of exposing the explicit content. The Binance account linked to Shanu received over 84.66 BTC (Bitcoin), equivalent to approximately $2.6 million, with $2.5 million withdrawn over a three-year period.
The victims, identified as V1 and V2, were targeted through Snapchat and Instagram. V1, a minor, accepted a friend request from Shanu’s alias, @chloe.walterz, on Snapchat. The relationship quickly turned coercive as Shanu demanded payments under the threat of exposing explicit content. V2, another underage victim, fell prey to Shanu’s manipulation after accepting a friend request on Instagram from @camillesmith96, who sent him draft messages of his own explicit content, demanding payment to prevent exposure.
Through meticulous investigative work, the US Secret Service linked the IP addresses of Shanu’s Snapchat accounts to a location in Lagos, Nigeria. It was revealed that the accounts used in the scam were hacked from their original owners, also minors, with their usernames and phone numbers changed to Nigerian details.
Shanu’s extortion operation was not limited to individual victims; he also used V2’s Venmo account to siphon funds from other cyberstalked victims. The crypto wallets associated with Shanu’s Binance account received these ill-gotten gains, further establishing his culpability. Investigators obtained a Know Your Customer (KYC) request for one of the wallets, confirming Shanu’s identity with a Nigerian passport and email address.
The charges against Shanu include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit extortion, interstate communication with intent to commit extortion, fraud, and money laundering forfeiture. With 13 indictments hanging over his head, Shanu faces severe legal consequences, including surrendering fraudulently acquired assets to the U.S. government.
Efforts to reach Shanu for comment were unsuccessful, leaving the question of his awareness of the allegations unanswered. The case stands as a stark reminder of the pervasive threats posed by cybercriminals and the need for robust international collaboration to combat such illicit activities.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?