Nigerian 'Black Money' Scam Turns Deadly for Two Suspected Con Men

Police say men were killed by victim of the fraud.

ByJoseph Rhee
April 01, 2009, 5:35 PM

April 1, 2009— -- The tables were turned with deadly consequences on two African immigrants trying to run a Nigerian "black money" scam on a New York man. Police say the men were killed in retaliation by the victim of the fraud and have identified the suspect as the cousin of NFL player Jonathan Vilma.

Both men - Sekou Sakor, 31, and Ansu Keita, 32 - had been shot in the head inside Vilma's Long Island, New York home, which was littered with pieces of the black paper used in the scam.

A recent ABC News 20/20 investigation detailed the inner workings of the black money scheme. In the scam, victims are notified by e-mail that they have received a huge windfall in cash that has been coated with black ink so it can be smuggled out of Africa.

Click here to see how the black money scheme works.

The victims are told they have to pay thousands of dollars to buy a special chemical that will clean the black ink off of the cash. The "cash" is actually nothing more than worthless pieces of black construction paper.

Authorities say the scheme has ensnared many prominent Americans, including U.S. Congressman Ed Mezvinsky, who served a prison term for his involvement in the fraud, and Dr. Timothy Sloan, a California heart surgeon who lost his life savings to a con artist.

A black money scammer caught in the act by 20/20 gave a rare, exclusive look at how the scam is pulled off. According to the con man, who worked for a Nigeria-based ring of internet criminals, the victims are shown a large suitcase filled with currency-sized pieces of black construction paper. The marks are then presented with a few real hundred dollars bills that have been coated with a protective layer of glue and then dipped in tincture of iodine to turn them black. In front of the victim's eyes, the bills are then cleaned with a "magic chemical", which is really just water mixed with crushed Vitamin C tablets.

Police say they found black paper, chemicals and Vitamin C in the apartment of the two men killed at the Long Island home. Police are still looking for Vilma's cousin. According to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Vilma was not in the house at the time and there is no evidence he was involved.

Click Here for the Investigative Homepage.

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