Two Nigerian brothers pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiring to sexually exploit teenage boys through sexual extortion, or “sextortion,” two years after one such scheme led to a Michigan teenager’s suicide.

Jordan DeMay was 17 years old when Samuel Ogoshi, 22, and his brother, Samson Ogoshi, 20, both of Nigeria, posed as a woman on Instagram using a hacked account and struck up a conversation with the teenager, ultimately blackmailing him into sending money and threatening him for more until he took his own life in March 2022.

Ogoshi brothers

Ogoshi brothers

Jordan DeMay

Jordan DeMay

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The Ogoshi brothers face a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years for each charge of conspiracy to sexually exploit minors. An indictment against the two brothers alleged they were involved in hundreds of similar schemes – many involving minors.

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The same night the Ogoshis started communicating with Jodan through Instagram, the teenager sent an explicit photo of himself to the account that he thought belonged to a woman. Samuel Ogoshi threatened to expose it and make it go “viral” online if Jordan did not immediately send money, prosecutors said. Jordan complied and sent the suspect money, but the crime only escalated from there as Ogoshi demanded more and more money from the 17-year-old.

The exchange went on for hours on a single night until Jordan told Ogoshi that he was going to kill himself.

“Good,” he wrote. “Do that fast. Or I’ll make you do it. I swear to God.”

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Sextortion is a social media crime trend in which bad actors entice or solicit a minor to engage in sexual acts or send blackmail money, according to the FBI, which received more than 13,000 reports of online financial sextortion involving at least 12,600 victims between October 2021 and March 2023.

The average age of sextortion victims is between 14 and 17 years old, the FBI said in a press release earlier this year, but the agency noted that any child can become a victim. Offenders of financially motivated sextortion typically originate from African and Southeast Asian countries {snip}

Sextortion can lead to suicide and self-harm. Between October 2021 and March 2023, the majority of online financial extortion victims were boys. These reports involved at least 20 suicides, the FBI said.

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By GIL