Alabama: $1 million sent to Nigeria from small town


Staff member
'Did you not feel or sense something wasn't right about this?' Yes, but.... :rolleyes:

At least $1 million funneled to Nigeria from small Alabama town in big-money scam

By Carol Robinson
on October 28, 2016 at 6:00 AM, updated October 28, 2016 at 9:26 AM

You've heard of Nigerian scammers? Well police believe some are based right here in small-town Alabama.

It's a complex investigation of a complex set of cons, but Adamsville authorities say a trio of people in that Jefferson County city helped bilk hundreds of thousands of dollars from unsuspecting Americans and wired the cash to criminals – perhaps even terrorists -- in Nigeria.

Adamsville police first became aware of wrongdoing in September of 2014 when a man in Chippewa County, Minnesota filed a report with sheriff's deputies there about a potential scam. The victim told investigators he learned he had won a $100,000 lottery, but in order to collect that money he had to fork over $2,462.50. He did so via a Walmart MoneyGram, and the recipient was to a woman named Jacinta Girrado Derby, a 57-year-old Adamsville woman.

Det. Rick Whitfield said they looked into the case, but there wasn't immediately anything that could be done. They kept an eye out for any other similar complaints, but there weren't any....

....Adamsville's investigation showed that Derby, Shields, 54, and Ford, 64 – described in transactions as "pickup agents" - all lived within two blocks of each other in Adamsville. Detectives sought, and received, surveillance videotape from the Adamsville Walmart that showed all three sending and receiving MoneyGrams on multiple occasions. The videos show Derby by herself, and with either Ford or Shields.

Once subpoenaed and received, Walmart spreadsheets of the transactions by the trio showed that every time a MoneyGram was received by one of them, another was sent the very same day for nearly the same amount – minus their fee which was roughly $20 to $30 per transaction. In all, Whitfield said, Derby sent at least $500,000 to Nigeria, so much that Walmart no longer allowed her to use the money-wiring service. That's when, Whitfield said, she enlisted neighbors Ford and Shields to help her as "pickup agents" to "make a little extra money."

Shields also sent money to Nigeria. Ford, Whitfield said, apparently kept most, if not all, of the money without sending it to anyone.

Detectives met with the FBI and with Jefferson County District Attorney's Office. He said federal investigators said they would assist in any way possible, but that it was Adamsville's case and that it would be virtually impossible to track the money once it left the U.S.

The District Attorney's Office issued felony theft of property warrants for all three. Derby was arrested Sept. 23, and is out of jail on $15,000 bond. Shields was arrested Sept. 24, and is out of jail on $5,000 bond. Ford was arrested Oct. 9, and he is out of jail on $10,000.

"We interviewed each one of the separately and one of the main questions I asked them was 'Did you not feel or sense something wasn't right about this?' And in each case, the answer was yes, yet they continued,'' Whitfield said.

Derby told investigators she was recruited into the business by another woman, who is now dead. She also gave investigators the names of four people for whom she worked, and each one of them had people in Nigeria to whom they were also sending money. Some of the names she provided matched the names of the "buyers" given to police by the out-of-state victims, Whitfield said......

David Nwamadi

New Member
Most of them are not Nigeria, but people from other Countries like Senegal and Gabon. They always use Nigeria because of its financial strength in Africa. I know this because I am a Nigerian and I have worked with the intelligence community. Majority of the people who fall victim to these scams are greedy thieves themselves..don't you think?

De Master Yoda

@David. While it is true that the vast majority of Nigerians are decent honest hard working people there are a percentage that are scammers, unfortunately they tarnish the good reputation of many others with their crimes.

If you have worked with "intelligence" then you cannot deny the facts and that unfortunately Nigeria has a bad reputation due to the dishonest scammers.

It is easy to blame others but this cannot alter the truth. Indeed many Ogas, chairmen and Guymen move to other countries and train their nationals how to scam, included in these are quite a few members of the confraternities who are also doing massive damage to their own countries.

As to the victims of these scams. again it is easy to generalize, but many of the victims are not "greedy thieves" The people who fall for these scams come from a diverse base and many think they are helping unfortunates, like those that send money to what they are conned into believing are orphans etc.

Indeed some Nigerian scammers actually scam their fellow countrymen and women into sending money to help feed the children when they are in fact sending the money to a low life scammer.

Every time a Nigerian scammer steals money by scamming he/she is doing massive damage to the good name and reputation of the vast majority of honest Nigerians who do not deserve this.


Adamsville residents arrested in Nigerian scam operation

Suspects accused of being money handlers for scam arts in Nigeria

Updated: 3:34 PM CDT Oct 28, 2016

  • Jon Paepcke

Three Adamsville residents are accused of helping carry out a Nigerian scam operation worth about $1 million, police said.

Jacinta Derby, Edward Ford and Debra Shields are accused of being the money handlers for scam artists in Nigeria.

Detective Rick Whitfield said Nigerian scam artists convinced victims who were selling things over the internet to wire shipping money to an Adamsville Walmart.

Authorities said Derby, Ford and Shields acted as go-betweens to pick up the money at the Walmart MoneyGram store and then send it Nigeria.

All three of them received $20 to $30 for each transaction, police said.

"Most of the money, 99 percent of the money, that was received was sent to Nigeria," Whitfield said.

Whitfield estimated that the trio participated in hundreds of transactions over the last two years, which sent about $1 million overseas.

People were scammed all over the United States, Whitfield said, but none of the victims live in Adamsville or Alabama.

He said that while authorities have the names of people in Nigeria who were in constant contact with the suspects, a lack of international cooperation is preventing them from tracking down the culprits.

"We felt like we could shut it down, what was going on in our city, and that became our goal," Whitfield said.

Derby, Ford and Shields are charged with theft of property and are currently out on bond.

WVTM Birmingham, Alabama


Staff member
Perfect, just perfect. Thanks Derby, Shields, and Ford for reinforcing every stereotype of Alabama that people have. Just shows that you can be a money mule for Nigerians no matter where you live.

Most of them are not Nigeria, but people from other Countries like Senegal and Gabon.
I think you should count again David.

Majority of the people who fall victim to these scams are greedy thieves themselves..don't you think?
No, don't think that at all. You should hang around here longer David. We don't blame victims here.