‘Yahoo Boy’ romance scammer convicted in Utah federal trial

March 22, 2024 – A federal jury convicted a “Yahoo Boy” romance scammer Friday in a $600,000 scheme.


“Clinton Chukwudi Uchendu, 26, of Dunwoody, Ga, was convicted for his involvement in a romance scam that cost victims more than $600,000,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah announced online .

In a five day trial, Uchendu was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of mail fraud, and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

According to evidence presented at trial, from February 2018 through October 2018, Uchendu participated in a money laundering conspiracy that involved receiving and transmitting funds from victims of romance scams.

In which countries do the scammers live?

“The object of the conspiracy was accomplished though social manipulators, referred to as “Yahoo Boys” who set up fake profiles online, developed relationships with their victims, gained the victims trust and then asked the victims for money using a variety of false pretenses,” prosecutors said.

“Yahoo Boys” usually operate overseas, in this case, Nigeria, pretending to be United States soldiers, international businessmen, or celebrities.

“Yahoo Boys” rely on their co-conspirators in the United States, who have U.S. bank accounts to assist them.

“These individuals are referred to as ‘pickers,’” the press release explained.

“As a ‘picker,’ Uchendu provided accounts to collect funds from the victims and to add layers to conceal the source and destination of the funds, to avoid being flagged by banks. Uchendu collected money into bank accounts and then laundered the funds to Nigeria or other destinations.”

Nigerian scammers

At trial, the jury was presented with evidence that Uchendu also participated in mail fraud and aided the operations of an unlicensed money transmitter. Several victims testified to losing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In addition to these victims’ testimony, evidence showed Mr. Uchendu received money from dozens of people from around the United States, whom he did not know, which he transmitted to Nigeria after retaining a portion of the money.

Uchendu is scheduled to be sentenced June 7 at the Orrin G. Hatch U. S. District Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City.

The case is being investigated by the FBI Salt Lake City Field Office.

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