US indictment charges 80 in fraud, money laundering case

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Federal agents hold a detainee, center, at a downtown Los Angeles parking lot after predawn raids that saw dozens of people arrested in the L.A. area Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. U.S. authorities have unsealed a 252-count federal grand jury indictment charging 80 people with participating in a conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a range of fraud schemes and laundering the funds through a Los Angeles-based network. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Thursday most of the defendants are Nigerian nationals. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. authorities have unsealed a 252-count grand jury indictment charging 80 people with participating in a conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a range of fraud schemes and laundering the funds through a Los Angeles-based network.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Thursday most of the defendants are Nigerian citizens.

Fourteen defendants have been arrested, mostly in the Los Angeles region.

Six others are believed to be fugitives in the U.S. and the others are abroad, mostly in Nigeria.

Prosecutors say the schemes included frauds involving compromise of business emails, romance scams and schemes targeting the elderly.

Authorities say the schemes targeted victims in the U.S. and around the world, and some lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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