UK Jails Nigerian Gospel Singer For Fraud

Oluwamayola Ajayi

A court in the United Kingdom has jailed an acclaimed Nigerian gospel singer, Oluwamayola Ajayi, 31 for six and half years for stealing more than N30m (120,000 pounds) from lonely women by posing as a pilot, oil executive and grieving widower.

Oluwamayola Ajayi

The convict, according to the Daily Mail of London, used a dating site to steal more than £120,000 from four single women on popular dating website using a series of aliases and outlandish stories to fleece them of their cash.

Ajayi, the report stated, sent email threats, purportedly from a captor, claiming he had been kidnapped and would be killed if a ransom was not paid.

The gospel artiste, who was nominated for best international act at the 2011 Gospel Music Awards under his stage name MaioJoe, was jailed for conspiracy to defraud at Snaresbrook Crown Court with Judge Sarah Paneth saying that it was clear he intended to defraud his victims ‘for much more money’ than he did.

He blew all the money on a luxury lifestyle, including a holiday to South Africa.

Judge Paneth added: “This was not money these women had to spare, it was money they needed back urgently.

“Having spent all of their money you pursued them for more by saying you would be killed if they did not pay.”

The court heard how he gained the women’s trust before persuading them to hand over their savings to fund business enterprises insisting the cash would be repaid.

His victims, who all live in America and Canada, were ‘completely taken in  by his elaborate lies.

They were left humiliated and some were financially ruined by the scam, which ran between November 2009 and August 2010.

One victim handed over more than $125,000 (now £78,662) from her late husband’s life savings and dead mother’s estate, which she had earmarked for retirement.

Another disabled woman from Nova Scotia was duped into giving Ajayi almost $38,000 (£23,913) after he pretended to be Travis David McFly, a United States Airforce pilot serving in Iraq.

Prosecutor Markus Rickard said: “He told a story to her about some gold bars he had found and that he wanted to get them  out of Iraq so they could secure their financial future.

“This inevitably led to the woman having supply money via an intermediary in London, to enable the gold bars to be taken from Iraq.

“She was completely taken in by him and intended to spend the rest of her life with him.

“At one point, she arranged to meet him at an airport and waited for five hours for him, but he did not turn up.

“This has left her flat broke and deeply embarrassed.

Ajayi pocketed around $30,000 (£18,873) from another internet lover, leaving her in financial dire straits.

The singer also posed as a project manager in the oil and gas industry to fleece $7,000 (£4,404) from his final victim, telling her he needed the cash for expenses, including a ‘Crude Oil Lifting Licence.’

He told all but one of the women that he was a white widower with children from Britain called Mark West, who was currently living in the US.

Ajayi funnelled his ill-gotten gains through false bank accounts, mainly using the fictional identity of Jose Fernando Rodrigues-Guedes.

Mr. Rickard added: ‘The defendant systematically and repeatedly misrepresented himself to lonely females using the internet and cheated them out of £120,000 from November 2009 until August 2010.

“The victims of his deceptions have been left embarrassed and fearful and they have all suffered substantial financial loss or ruin.’

Ajayi was arrested last August at the home he shares with his wife in Chadwell Heath, Essex.

During interview in a prepared statement, he insisted one of his victims was the girlfriend of a friend who owed him money.

He claimed he used an account in the name of Rodrigues-Guedes as he did not have one in his own name.

The computer equipment on which police found scores of emails with money transfers, credit card details, bank statements, personal information and photographs belonged to the ‘real’ Rodrigues-Guedes, Ajayi claimed.

But Rodrigues-Guedes has never been found, prompting police to believe he is simply an identity dreamed up by Ajayi to carry out his con.

Ajayi denied conspiracy to defraud, fraud, concealing criminal property, using criminal property and two counts of possessing articles for use in frauds.

He was unanimously convicted by a jury on all counts after a trial after admitting a single count of possessing a false identity document with intent.


  1. Its embarrassing and shameful to see people who are supposed to be good ambassador representing our country, involving in such acts. Its also shameful to see people who are supposed to condemn such act eating up themselves in the name of tribal sentiment. Mayowa deserved what he got and I wish he got more year cos he is a disgrace to Nigeria. Also all those involved in illicit trade and fraudsters (yahoo, 419er) are advised to look for legitimate way of making moni instead of disgracing their families and country. 6th commandment says- thou shall not steal.

  2. shame on all of you that have resulted in being tribalistic…this man is a Nigerian and should be condemned for his act as a fellow Nigerian. this sort of behavior shouldnt be condoned and as Nigerians we should, in totality condemn this and that of other Nigerians in trading in this kind of business so that others we see that not all of us are thesame. TRUST me non-Nigerians dont care if you are Ibo, yoruba , hausa , efik, calabar, etc…if it says Nigerian commit that, commit this…YOU AND I are inclusive in the way they view us….THIS TRIBALISM HAVE GOT TO STOP…..pleaseee

  3. i wonder why no one is saying anything about all the igbo guys that are caught at Nigerian and international airports with illegal drugs…they are almost always igbo….

  4. Is he an Igbo Man, Igbos like money they always claim, and this one did not handover the whole money to an Igbo man

  5. No offence to my yoruba folks, but they have to get it together when it comes to tanishing the Nigerian image outside the Country. They are seriously into fraud, scam and irregularities. Anybody in doubt now should google NIGERIAN CREDIT CARD FRAUD, all are yorubas.
    Even the guy that is working with fake/dead man’s identity in Newark International Airport is yoruba. Igbos are known for their 419 within the naija shores, but outside this country yorubas can do ANYTHING… Na wa o.

    Guys, abeg stay clear of Nigerians outside the Country, especially YORUBAS!

  6. the man may have comitted the offence as said but when it comes to issues of frauds that involves Nigerian it’s always blown out of proportion to gain media attention to labeling all Nigerians in UK as potential fraud stars on the surface probably him also might have be a vitim acomplice

    • @paul. why cant you write something that is sensible instead of inciting hatred or abusing yoruba. na wa ooo!!

  7. Great justice. Let him spend the next years in jail thinking of how to amend his ways and work hard. No room for lazy crooners like him who believe that because they sign they are entitled to all the goodies of life at others expense.

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