KGOU

Nigerian Internet Scam Blamed For $600K Seizure From Oklahoma City-Based Trevo

Aug 2, 2016

The FBI has found thousands of dollars from scam victims in an Oklahoma City company’s bank account, but they may not be in trouble.

Trevo LLC President Mark Stevens
Credit Courtesy photo / The Journal Record

The multi-level marketing company Trevo sells its nutritional supplement juices in dozens of international markets.

Late last month, the FBI seized $610,000 from scam victims that found its way into the company’s bank account, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

“Unfortunately, there were some brokers that the money that was exchanged from our (Nigerian currency) into U.S. dollars, there was some fraudulent activity on that,” [Trevo LLC President Mark] Stevens said. “Not from the company, but through the individuals that were doing the third-party brokerage. That money ended up in our account without our knowledge that it wasn’t actually legitimate.”

According to an FBI filing in federal court, several Americans were scammed out of thousands of dollars online. Among the victims, an Oklahoma City man met someone online and the two had a relationship solely through text messages. The man spent more than $17,000 trying to help the scammer get a nonexistent inheritance out of Nigeria, sending the money directly to Trevo’s bank account.

The FBI did not name any suspects, and Stevens said he is not under investigation. However, Stevens said he has reached out to Nigerian police to investigate the brokers.

Oklahoma attorney Robert Robles, who is not affiliated with the case, said international banking comes with complications.

Robles said Trevo now has to tell the federal government why the money shouldn’t be seized from its accounts, if the company wants to fight the seizure.

“All of this takes some time, but it is a way that the owner of the money can be exonerated,” Robles said. “It could be an innocent thing, but on the other hand, it could be not so innocent.”

Trevo has not yet responded to the federal seizure filing.

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