Sextortion suspects on trial after teen victim dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound
Trio alleged to have blackmailed over 100 targets after threats of intimate image release
Two Nigerian men have been extradited to the US and were scheduled to appear in deferral court on Monday, charged with sextortion and causing the death of one of their victims: a teen who was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Samuel Ogoshi, 22, and Samson Ogoshi, 20, of Lagos, Nigeria, were indicted in May on four counts. The first count charges Samuel Ogoshi with sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, resulting in death. This charge alone carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 30 years behind bars.
The other three counts charge both men with conspiracy to sexually exploit minors, conspiracy to distribute child pornography, and conspiracy to commit stalking over the internet.
These charges each carry a maximum of 30 years, 20 years and five years in prison, respectively, with the conspiracy to sexually exploit minors charge carrying a mandatory minimum of 15 years.
"Sextortion is a horrible crime," US Attorney Mark Totten said in a statement. "To those who commit these crimes: we will pursue you around the world. And to those who are victims: please know we stand ready to help you."
The three men allegedly victimized more than 100 people over the web.
According to the grand jury indictment [PDF], the two men along with a third suspect, 19-year-old Ezekiel Ejehem Robert, pretended to be a young woman via social media accounts in a scheme to con young men.
The trio allegedly convinced their victims to produce sexually explicit images of themselves, and then used the photos for blackmail by threatening to send them to the boys' families, friends and classmates.
Robert's extradition is still pending.
In one specific instance, Samuel Ogoshi allegedly used a fake persona "dani.robertts" on Instagram, and sent a direct message to 17-year-old Jordan DeMay of Marquette, Michigan.
During their chats, "she" convinced DeMay to send a sexually explicit image of himself, which were then used to blackmail the teen, according to the court documents.
The indictment says on or around March 25, 2022, DeMay received the following messages:
dani.robertts: "I have screenshot all ur followers and tags can send this nudes to everyone and also send your nudes to your Family and friends Until it goes viral…All you've to do is to cooperate with me and I won't expose you"
dani.robertts: "Are you gonna cooperate with me"
dani.robertts: "Just pay me rn" ["Just pay me right now"]
Samuel Ogoshi allegedly blackmailed DeMay for $1,000, and when the victim only paid $300, Ogoshi threatened to send the images to his friends and family.
The two then exchanged these messages:
Victim 1: "I'm kms rn" ["I'm kill myself right now"]
Victim 1: "Bc of you" ["Because of you"] e
dani.robertts: "Do that fast"
dani.robertts: "Or I'll make you do it"
dani.robertts: "I swear to God"
On March 25, 2022, the 17-year-old was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"As parents, we cannot begin to imagine what Jordan went through that night and how scared he was because of this senseless act," DeMay's family said in a statement [PDF].
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The teen's death prompted an investigation by the Marquette County Sheriff's Department and the FBI, which led to the indictment and the arrests.
Earlier this year, FBI agents traveled to Nigeria to conduct a joint investigation with Nigerian law enforcement officials that ultimately led to the arrests of the Ogoshis and Robert.
In total, the sextortion scheme suspects are alleged to have blackmailed over 100 individuals, and the indictment details two other teenage victims, identified as "Victim 2" and "Victim 3."
When Victim 2 said he only had "$50 in venmo and $100 cash," so not enough to pay the $800 demand, Samson Ogoshi posing as "danni" allegedly threatened him: "I will make you regret you life," and "I will make u commit suicide." ®