Camden County Man Sentenced to Six Years for Overseas Scam Involving $1.5 Million


Camden County, NJ - A 39-year-old man from Sicklerville, Camden County, has been sentenced to six years in New Jersey state prison for his involvement in an international scheme that defrauded victims of nearly $1.5 million. Christopher Akeme pleaded guilty in May to one count of financial facilitation of criminal activity and was sentenced on Friday by Superior Court Judge Gwendolyn Blue. In addition to the prison term, Akeme has been ordered to pay $1,421,689 in restitution to his victims.

Akeme confessed to his part in the scam that targeted three vulnerable individuals between 2017 and 2020. He orchestrated the transfer of funds from the victims to bank accounts he controlled in the United States before forwarding the money to accounts in Nigeria, effectively concealing the illicit source of the funds.

One victim, a California resident, depleted $926,414 from her retirement and investment accounts under the belief that she was financially assisting an individual she was in a long-distance romance with. However, this person did not actually exist, and the victim was under the impression that she was aiding them with medical expenses and an overseas development project.

Another California resident fell victim to an inheritance scam, sending $116,630 in an attempt to release purportedly unclaimed funds from a bank account in Barcelona, Spain.

The third victim, a resident of Germany, was ensnared in a real-estate investment scheme coupled with a romance scam initiated on social media. This victim lost $491,645 by investing in what they believed to be a condominium in New Jersey.

Pablo Quiñones, legal chief of the Office of Securities Fraud and Financial Crimes Prosecutions in the Attorney General’s Office, commented on the case, stating, “Unfortunately, the scams used in this case to steal money and funnel funds to others in Nigeria are common scams that harm victims worldwide. This case demonstrates our resolve to disrupt sophisticated transactional fraud and money laundering networks and seek justice for the vulnerable victims harmed by such scams.”