At Bolton Crown Court, Azeez admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and plotting to possess criminal property.
A Nigerian man has admitted conspiracy to commit fraud in the United Kingdom.
The man had won refugee status to stay in the UK by claiming he was persecuted in Nigeria for being gay before going on to have three children with three women in Britain.
He has been arrested for masterminding a £220,000 Facebook and eBay parcel fraud racket.
Asylum seeker Saheed Azeez, 33, had been allowed to settle in the UK after claiming he faced persecution by Boko Haram militants, but after moving to the country he had three children with three women, marrying the third. He now says he is bisexual.
Mr Evans added: ‘The exact monetary value of the parcel frauds and physical items which passed through Azeez’s hands will never be known but the number of the victims impacted by him number in the hundreds.
‘This was a targeted and well-resourced dishonesty and he played a leading role in the group conspiracy. He was the sole link to the online fraudsters. It was a sophisticated fraud which required considerable planning to build the network.’
The court heard Azeez sold off the items through his brother’s electrical shop Eze TV in Wigan, Greater Manchester before passing on a the profits to his fellow fraudsters after taking his own cut.
He was also linked to the creation of 37 untraceable bank accounts in six different names which accepted cryptocurrency as part of the racket. He himself funnelled £40,000 of dirty money through his own account.
More than 30 victims gave statements expressing their anger and frustration at being duped. The court heard other desperate sellers who sent out parcels were even ‘pressured’ into sending over money to the fraudsters when they were wrongly assured they would get their items back.
In mitigation, defence counsel Chloe Fordham said Azeez received only a ‘small percentage’ of the profits – adding that he fears being deported back to Nigeria ‘more than anything’ following his conviction.
Ms Fordham said: ‘Mr Azeez was born into a Muslim family in Nigeria but the sad reality was he and his family were persecuted in Nigeria.
‘He was exploited as a teenager and as an adult entered into a homosexual relationship although now he now considers to himself to be bisexual.
‘As a result of that, he was targeted by Boko Haram and was told he was was going to be killed. On one occasion he was badly beaten and tortured and there are documents and photographs to back that up.
‘There is no question as to whether his account was credible. His gay partner arranged for him to escape to Nigeria but he was sadly later killed too.
‘When the defendant arrived here, he was homeless and he then moved to Bolton with a male who also exploited him and he was later diagnosed with depression and PTSD.
‘He now has three children in the UK by three different mothers and is married to the mother of the third child. He has parental responsibilities to all the children. He now now considers to himself to be bis3xual.’
Miss Fordham added: ‘His involvement in these matters began when he thought was doing legitimate work delivering and collecting parcels but pressure was put on him to collect parcels which he knew contained items obtained through fraud.
‘Set against the background of someone who has been exploited, tortured, and abused in the past he was not someone who was able to withstand such pressures.
‘He was following instructions given by others and has since been receiving threats from the fraudsters via his partner and ex-partner about presumably not outing them