Update: According to court documents, the case was dismissed in April with conditions that a restitution payment of $1,170 be paid along with court costs. Court documents show that amount was paid in full (Read the documents here).
A New Jersey resident, Adebayo Adeleke, is being extradited to the Limestone County Jail on a charge for Financial Exploitation of the Elderly 2nd Degree. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a second suspect in the case, Sacha Maithland, who is wanted for the same charge.
Deputies filed a report on September 21 from a 77-year-old victim who was scammed on Craigslist. The victim's family member posted an ad to sell farm equipment, and he received a message on September 15 from a "buyer" offering a larger amount than asked for. The "buyer" said the extra amount would pay to ship the equipment to New Jersey.
The victim cashed the check when he received it and sent postal money orders to the people alleged to be movers. The bank reported to the victim that the check was forged, and investigators discovered the address to which the victim mailed the money orders had an incorrect zip code. The package was picked up at a post office in Easthampton, New Jersey.
Postal Service investigators and the Easthampton Police Department investigators were able to identify the suspect who picked up the money orders, Adeleke, and the suspect who cashed them, Maithland, after obtaining security photos and other evidence that connected them to the crime.
Investigators believe the two suspects had accessed banking information for a business in New York and were able to create forged checks, which they used to scam people throughout the country.
According to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office, the scam may have begun in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where Adeleke said he lived before relocating to the U.S.
Investigators urge the public to be wary when doing business online and to protect private information. The Federal Trade Commission offers free scam alerts. To report a scam, visit www.ftc.gov/complaint .
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