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Scammer: Barrister John Akroma/Ibrahim Tukur
Lagos, Nigeria
Dennis Franz, of NYPD Blue Fame
July 17, 2004
Aug 20, 2004

- Scammer text in italics
- My text in regular Verdana font
- [My comments in bold square brackets]

Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 23:35:48 +0800
From: Barrister John Akroma
To: Dennis Franz

Subject: From Barr John Akroma ( Progress Report)

Dear Dennis,

How are you today? I wish to inform you that I’ve commenced action, I have deposed an affidavit before a Federal High Court attesting that you are my deceased client surviving relation therefore the bona fide next of kin since his immediate family who would have inherited his wealth died along with him.

I have also filed an application to the Probate Registry of the Federal Ministry of Justice attached with the affidavit, requesting for a letter of Administration of the deceased Estate, as required by law which will compel the bank to release the Fund to you since my deceased client did not leave a WILL behind prior his untimely demise.

The Probate Registry most likely will be contacting you to establish your identity but that should not worry you, it is the routine here, they will only give you a Form to complete and enclose your valid identification, for the processing and subsequent issuance of the letter of Administration.

As soon as we are through with the formalities involved, the Probate Registry will then serve the letter of Administration to the bank, which will empower them to release the fund to you accordingly.

I have forwarded you contact information to the Probate Registry to enable them establish communication with you, so you should look forward to their correspondence any moment.


[Check out the cause of death -- #1 -- also, John, when you stamp a large official-looking 'RECIEVED' on a fake affidavit, you might want to check the spelling of RECEIVED]

Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2004 12:58:41 -0400
From: Dennis Franz
To: Barrister John Akroma

Subject: RE: From Barr John Akroma ( Progress Report)

Thank you John,

I look forward to making contact with the Probate Registry.


Barrister John leaves me a voice mail message (MP3 - 50k) - click here to listen

[Imagine my surprise, when the 'probate registry' contacts me from John's IP address]

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 21:34:04 +0800
From: Ibrahim Tukur <[email protected]>
To: Dennis Franz


Dear Dennis,

We are in receipt of an application from Barrister John Akroma, with an Affidavit deposed at the Federal High Court testifying that you are the legitimate next of kin to his deceased client late James Franz and further requesting for an order vis-à-vis a Letter of Administration to be issued in your favour, which will compel Union Bank to release the deceased monetary deposit in their custody to you.

Consequently, to enable us discharge effectively our statutorily duty, you are hereby requested to complete the attached form attached with your valid identification i.e. Driver’s License or International Passport, for the processing of the application and other necessary formalities involved.

Yours faithfully
Ibrahim Tukur

Legal officer
For: Chief Registrar

[Document was attached. Completed version below]

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 16:56:19 -0400
From: Dennis Franz
To: Ibrahim Tukur



Sorry this took so long - I had to print it, type out the information, sign it, then re-scan it for you.

I hope everything is satisfactory.


[Wouldn't want to stray from the official looking 'affidavit', so I also included the cause of death as being 'ghastly' in nature]

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 16:59:20 -0400
From: Dennis Franz
To: Barrister John Akroma

Subject: RE: From John (Urgent Reply)

Hello John,

I just submitted the form and my passport scan to the probate. Sorry it took so long, but I had to print it, type out the information, sign it, then rescan it for them.

I do not carry a mobile phone, sorry. I do receive voice mails though if I am out. I am very busy, so just leave a message if you can't get a hold of me -- or e-mail me. E-mail is often quicker as I am on a pager.

What is the next step John?

Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 04:11:05 +0800
From: Ibrahim Tukur
To: Dennis Franz


Dear Sir,

Please find the attached letter, we have tried to fax it to you without success hence we decided to scan and send it to you as attachment. You are directed to peruse the letter carefully and act accordingly.

Yours Sincerely
Ibrahim Tukur
Legal Adviser for Chief Registrar

[How official looking! And all they want is $4,000 US to start. A shame they cannot spell DISpatched correctly]

Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 07:02:53 -0400
From: Dennis Franz
To: Ibrahim Tukur


Mr. Tukur,

I have received your scanned letter. I'm not sure why you aren't able to fax me. I am receiving faxes from other people. Perhaps it's something to do with the overseas number? [I actually don't have a fax machine... that might be the problem.]

Anyway, it doesn't matter - this scanned worked fine. I have perused your letter and find it acceptable for the most part -- I was not told by Barr. Akroma that there would be any costs to me involved in this transaction. When do you require that I send this Western Union transfer?

Could you please explain to me the three items I am paying for... The accreditation fee, judicial seal and stamp duty?

Thank you,

Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2004 03:48:50 +0800
From: Ibrahim Tukur
To: Dennis Franz


Dear Sir,

With reference to your mail, I want you to understand that laws differs from one country to the other, therefore the modus here may not be what is obtainable in your country.

For purpose of clarity, apart from the stamp duty, the accreditation fee and judicial seal are what is described here as judicial cost. The accreditation is the official letter of recognition issued to the beneficiary to show that his or her claim to the inheritance is not under contention.

Secondly before a letter of administration can be said to the tenable there must be a judicial seal affixed and countersigned by a high court judge,and all these processes attract modest fees. While the stamp duty is the revenue that goes into the coffers of federal government.

Finally, if you can be able to make the payment between today and tomorrow, definitely by Monday the documentation will be ready, it all depends on you.

Yours Sincerely
Ibrahim Tukur

Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2004 07:12:04 -0400
From: Dennis Franz
To: Ibrahim Tukur


Thank you so much for your splendiferous explaination.

I will be going to the bank on Monday morning and will order the Western Union transfer to the person and location you requested in the amount of $4000.


[I decide the scambait is going too quickly... I try to get more photos]

Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 07:57:49 -0400
From: Dennis Franz
To: John Akroma

Subject: Hello John

A wonderful day to you John,

I have been in talks with Mr. Tukur at the probate office, and have spent the weekend considering this deal.

Mr. Tukur has asked that I send him $4000. He explained all the fees and the reasons behind them to me, but I am still quite concerned with this. You never mentioned any fees, or that I would have to pay any money.

It then ocurred to me that I haven't even talked to, or met Mr. Tukur, and the thought of sending someone I haven't seen, met, or have identification for, seems quite absurd to me. After thinking about it for some time, I am afraid I will have to ask Mr. Tukur for identification in the same way I asked you. This will rule out forgeries or fakes, since it will contain our password.

Can you arrange this John?


Date: Tue, 03 Aug 2004 03:53:28 +0800
From: barrister john
To: Dennis Franz

Subject: From Barr John

Dear Dennis,

How are you today? I have gone through your mail, It is true i never mentioned that any fees will be involved, it was an oversight on my side because i thought it is the same procedure that is applicable over there.

I am amazed at your suggestion, i don't think you realize the implication [No, I do, I would just like to see Mr. Tukur, since he is, infact, yourself John]. How do you think Mr Tukur or the probate will react to this, do you realize that the Probate is part of the Justice Ministry? You are sounding as if the fees you are asked to pay is for Mr Tukur's personal use [God no, never...], If i put this suggestion across to Mr Tukur knowing fully well that the functions of the Probate is to verify and authenticate your identity, they will ask me to have my head examined.

I can't even bring myself to go to the Probate Registry to discuss this. The question you should have asked yourself is "what interest does the Mr Tukur has over the payment" As far as i am concerened there is nothing, whether you pay the money or not, it is none of his business. Therefore you are not in the position to dictate for him. Moreover, the fees that you are going to pay is for the the Judiciary and must be officially receipted, so you are not paying it to any individual. Thank God that you consulted me before putting this across to him because that would have complicated issues for us.

The reason i consented to your request for identification is to show you the sincerity of purpose and to douse any skeptism you may have in respect of this transaction and to establish trust as you rightly pointed out but dragging the Probate into this is going too far.

Therefore, let us leave the probate out of this, if truly you have the interest of this transaction at heart as that would be throwing spanner in the works. You should hold me responsible and accountable for the fees you were asked to pay. So Mr Dennis, don't let suspicion becloud your good sense of reasoning or scuttle this transaction becuase without an approval from the probate, there is no way the bank can release the money to you, and we are not in the position to dictate for the probate.

I will advise you to give them your maximum cooperation if we must forge ahead, Please take my advise.

I look forward to hearing from you Asap.



[I decide to make John squirm a little...]

Mon, 2 Aug 2004 21:18:05 -0400
From: Dennis Franz
To: John Akroma

Subject: RE: From Barr John


You make valid points - Please do not think that I am questioning your honestly, or that of Mr. Tukur... however Mr. Tukur did, in fact, ask me to make the payment to an individual - not the Ministry of Justice.

I was asked to make a $4000 Western Union money transfer to Osuji Iyk Kings -- the head of the Accounting department. He also asks that it be wired to No. 4 Adeniyi Jones Lagos, Nigeria...

A quick check of the Ministry of Justice's Web site shows me that they are located at: New Federal Secretariat Complex, Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja, Nigeria...

Don't read this as an accusation. It's nothing of the sort - Surely, you can see why I am thinking something is amiss, though. I'm sure, however, that there is a reasonable explanation.

I would like to continue with this transaction, and while the $4000 isn't a great deal of money to me, the idea of sending it to an random man at the Ministry of Justice -- residing at a strange address -- makes me wonder.

Can you explain this John? Should I ask Mr. Tukur for an explanation?


Date: Tue, 03 Aug 2004 21:49:46 +0800
From: John Akroma
To: Dennis Franz

Subject: From Barr John Akroma

Dear Dennis,

I quite understood the point that you are trying to make and I don't see anything wrong in demanding for an explanation. I don't think it is necessary bothering Mr. Tukur with explanations when I am in the position as an Attorney practicing here to clarify you on some of the issues that you raised.

First, Let me begin with the address on the website, that is the Headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Justice and it where the office of the Justice Minister and his likes are located. We have 36 states here in Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Justice have offices located in all the states of the Federation, just like any other Federal Ministries.

Furthermore, in the Federal Ministry of Justice, there are different arms that perform different functions with offices at different locations. These are for Administrative purposes and quick dispensation of Justice. Therefore if you have anything to do with any arm, you just visit any of their offices nearest to you.

The Probate office at No 4 Adeniyi Jones Lagos was where I made my application for the Letter of Administration and there is nothing really amiss as they perform the same functions with the Probate Registry located at any part of the country. The observation you made was a figment of your imagination.

If I must be frank with you, I don't see any thing wrong in Mr. Tukur directing you to send the money through their accounting officer as all the money that is payable to the Probate Registry passes through him for records. I am surprise that this issue is raising dust, I am the person that you ought to hold liable if anything goes wrong which I guarantee will never happen come what may.

I would have suggested you send the money through me but considering the sensitive nature of this transaction, it is important to establish to the probate that you are for real and that the money for the fees is coming directly from you. I don't want us to do anything that will create unnecessary room for suspicion.

However, if you are still not comfortable with the idea and decide to send the money through me, definitely you have to let the Probate know that you will provide the money through me, so that I can pay it on your behalf. But even at that it is still the same head of Accounts department of the Probate that I will pay it to and collect receipt.

Please take my Advice so we can forge ahead as time is of essence in this transaction.



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