http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/...cle_cdb0d11b-bb95-579e-a288-f31a149be487.html Nigerian scammer arrested in U.K. on Illinois charges August 12, 2014 11:18 am Former Belleville resident admits tax fraud conspiracy EAST ST. LOUIS • A Nigerian man indicted here and accused of running an online “romance scam” that victimized at least 30 women in Illinois, Missouri and elsewhere has been arrested in London, the U.S. attorney’s office said Tuesday. Olayinka Ilumsa Sunmola, 31, pretended to be a current or retired member of the military, using information and photos he’d stolen from real people on online dating sites, the indictment says. He wooed each woman for months, using flowers, stuffed animals, greeting cards and candy and promises that each “was his one true love, his sole love interest, and the woman with whom he intended to spend the rest of his life,” the indictment claims. Once they were involved in a relationship, Sunmola began manufacturing fake emergencies that required ever-increasing amounts of money from his victims, prosecutors said. The victims were not named but lived in Illinois’ Bond County, St. Charles and St. Louis counties, Mascoutah and elsewhere. Sunmola often pretended to be from Mascoutah, the indictment says. Sunmola scammed a Bond County woman into buying electronics and shipping them to him, reshipping electronics he’d bought using stolen credit card information and taking out cash advances on a credit card, the indictment says. She was forced into bankruptcy, eventually owing at least $98,000. One unnamed resident of Mascoutah was tricked into buying a webcam and posing “in a sexually suggestive position,” then blackmailed by Sunmola, prosecutors said. He emailed a video to her and relatives and threatened to post the pictures online, telling “the woman that by the time he was done with her she would want to kill herself” if she didn’t keep sending him money, prosecutors said. Another was tricked into cashing fake traveler’s checks for Sunmola, caught and charged, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Sunmola was indicted Nov. 20, on eight felony counts of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and extortion, but the indictment was sealed until last month, to aid Sunmola’s extradition. Sunmola, originally of Lagos, Nigeria, currently lives in South Africa and was arrested as he was preparing to board a British Airlines flight from Heathrow Airport to Johannesburg. The U.S. attorney’s office in Southern Illinois worked with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service and the Illinois attorney general’s office, which referred the case to prosecutors. Another Nigerian man, Adagun Moshood Olalekan, was indicted by the same office March 4, and accused of a similar scam. He has been arrested by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission and is awaiting extradition, prosecutors said. Robert Patrick covers federal courts and federal law enforcement for the Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter: @rxpatrick.