For allegedly operating an international sextortion ring following a year-long investigation that originated in the Upper Peninsula, United States, three Nigerian nationals have been charged to court.
They are Samuel Ogoshi, 22, Samson Ogoshi, 20, and Ezekiel Ejehem Robert, 19, all of Lagos, are facing a four-count charge.
U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten announced the charges and the unsealing of a federal indictment on Wednesday, May 3.
“The indictment, which was unsealed this morning, alleges these defendants targeted more than 100 victims, both minors and adults,” Totten said at a press conference.
“One of the victims, in this case, was 17-year-old Jordan DeMay, of Marquette, Michigan, who tragically took his life as a result of this crime.”
DeMay is referred to as Victim 1 in the indictment. His parents were in attendance during Wednesday’s press conference.
Totten defined the criminal scheme in question as “sextortion.”
“Sextortion is a type of blackmail where the perpetrator demands money or sexual favors from an individual by threatening to reveal evidence of their sexual activity,” Totten said.
“When a sextortion occurs online, the perpetrator often pretends to be someone else and then persuades the victim to send compromising photos or perhaps engage in compromising conversation.
The perpetrator then threatened to disclose those photos or the conversation if the victim doesn’t provide either money or further sexual favors.
According to Totten, a federal grand jury has alleged the three defendants purchased multiple hacked social media accounts. One of these accounts was used to create the Instagram persona of dani.robertts.
“Over the course of a short conversation, Samuel Ogoshi, pretending to be this young woman, persuaded Jordan DeMay to send a sexually explicit image of himself,” Totten said.
The defendants allegedly used online tools to research their victims, including where they live, attend school and who their family and friends are.
“Once (he) had the sexually explicit image in hand, the indictment alleges that Ogoshi then turned to extort Jordan DeMay for money,” Totten said.