A man who lives in Greenville but is originally from Nigeria is behind bars, accused of running a scam named after his home country.
Greenville police say 30-year-old Olaitan Olaniyi of Greenville was running several versions of what is commonly known as the Nigerian Scam.
Olaniyi is accused of recruiting people online for "work from home" schemes, according to police. The victims were given merchandise purchased with stolen credit cards from local businesses, including Best Buy Walmart, Home Depot and Sears. The victims are told to combine and repackage the merchandise and ship it to consolidation points in the United States for a small fee. From there, the merchandise is shipped out of the country. Police say the victims did not know they were working with merchandise purchased with stolen credit cards. The merchandise involved was usually high-end electronics and telecommunication equipment.
Police also say Olaniyi enticed other victims into fake romantic relationships online. He would ask victims to wire money because of a dire emergency, such as saving a family member's life or escaping a repressive regime, police say.
Greenville police arrested Olaniyi on 35 warrants for Obtaining Property by False Pretense. Officials say the victims of this man lost thousands of dollars. Officers also seized about $20,000 in property, including computers, flat screen televisions, and other high-end electronics. Evidence of Western Union transaction frauds was also recovered, according to police.
Olaniyi's arrest is the result of a three-month investigation by the Greenville Police Financial Crimes Unit and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
Police say the investigation is still ongoing, and more charges are expected.
Olaniyi is a Nigerian national and legal resident of the United States.
According to jail officials, Greenville police arrested 30-year-old Olaitan Olaniyi of Greenville. He's facing 27 charges of obtaining property by false pretense, and his bond is set at a hefty one million dollars.
We'll let you know what we find out about the case against him today.