"Nigerian scam" suspects in a Jerusalem courtroom
The "Nigerian scam" suspects in a Jerusalem courtroom. Photo by Moti Kimche
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The seven Israelis suspected of scamming tens of millions of dollars from U.S. pensioners in a so-called "Nigerian scam" can be extradited to the United States to face trial there, the Jerusalem District Court ruled on Wednesday.

The seven, arrested by Tel Aviv police in July 2009, have been charged by American prosecutors for a serious of legal violations, including conspiracy to commit fraud. Some of the defendants also face money laundering charges.

The defendants are suspected of building a sophisticated crime network to defraud elderly American pensioners. Over four years, the network netted tens of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains.

The defendants, all in their 20s and 30s, allegedly phoned American pensioners, told them they had won the lottery and asked them for a fee of several thousand dollars for the transfer of the prize money, which in fact never existed.

The investigation that uncovered the network was conducted in conjunction between Israeli and U.S. law enforcement agencies.