Authorities have been saying this for years: If a multimillion-dollar inheritance sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
But in a federal indictment that was made public in federal court Thursday, Guam victims of what's called an advance-fee scam fell prey to a similar trick.
The total amount that flowed out of Guam to alleged scammers' bank accounts: $885,200, according to the indictment.
The alleged scam: Two men with ties to Nigeria convinced two women who live on Guam to participate in their alleged fraud. Guam victims were convinced to fork out advance payments for processing and other fees before they would receive millions of dollars in supposed inheritance money.
The Guam women have been identified in the indictment against two Nigerian citizens with Florida addresses.
Teresa Adamos Pereda and Sally Cruz Roberto, according to the indictment in the U.S. District Court on Guam, "participated in an advance-fee inheritance scam and obtained money from Guam-based victims."
The details of Roberto’s case had been kept confidential until the indictment against the two Nigerian citizens who allegedly ran the scam became public. Roberto has pleaded not guilty.
Pereda has not been charged in the alleged advance-fee scam.
The Nigerian citizens who were indicted in the federal court on Guam are Okechukwu F. Iwuji, 37, and Jide Abimbola, 37, who also goes by the names Mark Long, Grang Long, Greg Long, and Luke Joshua.
Each was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.
The indictment against Iwuji and Abimbola alleges:
• From November 2018 to February 2019, Pereda and Roberto sent via multiple wire transfers $475,710 from Guam to bank accounts under Iwuji's control; and
• From December 2018 to September 2019, Abimbola received $409,490 that Pereda and Roberto wired from the Guam victims of the alleged scam.
The women sent the money in 35 wire transfers to multiple bank accounts that Iwuji and Abimbola controlled using Florida mailing addresses, documents state.
Each wire transfer was for a different amount, from as low as $1,500 to as much as $58,650.
Iwuji and Abimbola have since pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The trial for the two men is set for Nov. 5.