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Two Nigerian Brothers Extradited To America Over ‘Sextortion’ Of Teenager Who Died By Suicide Pleads Not Guilty

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Two Nigerian hackers accused of running an international sextortion ring that led to the suicide of 17-year-old Jordan DeMay have pleaded not guilty to several charges, US Attorney Mark Totten announced.

Samuel Ogoshi, 22, and Samson Ogoshi, 20, of Lagos, Nigeria, were extradited to the US this week and were arraigned the next day on sexually extorting teenage boys and young men in Michigan and across the country.

The Ogoshi brothers entered not guilty pleas on 17 August in US District Court in Marquette, Michigan. A detention hearing has been scheduled for next Wednesday, Mr Totten said.

His last message was: “I’m killing myself right now. Because of you.”

Sexual extortion, or sextortion, involves persuading victims to send explicit photos online then threatening to make the images public if the victim doesn’t pay money or engage in sexual favors.

The two men each face single counts of conspiracy to sexually exploit minors, conspiracy to distribute child sexual abuse images and conspiracy to commit stalking through the internet.

Samuel Ogoshi also faces single charges of sexual exploitation of a minor resulting in death and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor resulting in death. The men were indicted in May and extradited to the US on Sunday.

“Today’s hearing is another step forward in the judicial process following the successful extradition of the Ogoshi brothers from Nigeria to the United States last Sunday,” Mr Totten said.

“My office is fully prepared to present the facts of the case during a fair trial.”

The Justice Department announced earlier this year that agents from the bureau had travelled to Nigeria to conduct a cooperative investigation with the African country’s law enforcement officials regarding Jordan’s case. Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) then arrested Samuel and Samson Ogoshi and Ezekiel Ejehem Robert, 19. His extradition is still pending.

Jordan was a senior student nearing graduation at Marquette Senior High School when he died. He played basketball and football and had worked hard to physically recover after suffering an injury during his freshman year.

His suicide came as a shock to his parents, who scrambled to process the sudden loss and work out what could have possibly driven their lighthearted, always-in-good-spirits son to kill himself.

Jordan had deleted any messages on his phone that might have alerted his parents or authorities to the extortion scam before he died – but, a day after his death, one of his friends told his mother that they had received his nudes.

While impersonating the user, they allegedly encouraged Jordan and more than 100 other victims to send them nude photographs.

“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,” Samuel Ogoshi allegedly wrote.

In a series of texts encouraging Jordan to kill himself after Jordan only paid $300, the social media account responded: “Good/Do that fast/Or I’ll make you do it.”

The indictment against the three men was announced in May and, late last month, a Nigerian judge ordered the Ogoshi brothers to be extradited to the US. The process was finalised earlier this month after the Nigerian solicitor-general signed the final surrender order.

The number of reported sextortion cases carried out overseas and targeting Americans have increased in alarming numbers in recent years.

In May, the FBI issued a national public safety alert to warn parents after seeing a tenfold increase in online sexual blackmail cases. According to the bureau, 3,000 children were victims of sextortion plots that were connected to more than a dozen suicides in 2022.

“These crimes have had devastating effects on children and their families,” FBI San Francisco Acting Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan said in the statement.

“We need to disrupt these criminals by making potential victims and their parents aware of the sextortion threat. Parents and guardians should talk to their children about the dangers of online communication, and the importance of speaking up if anyone makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened.”

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