US charges three Nigerians, others with $18m bank fraud

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The United States of America has filed three counts, bordering on bank and wire fraud and “aggravated identity theft” against Oladayo Oladokun, Farouk Kukoyi and Baldwin Osuji, before the United States’ Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger.

The three Nigerians were charged alongside 12 others.

In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have “wilfully and knowingly…combine, conspire, confederate and agree together and with each other to commit bank fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344, and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343.”

The alleged crime was said to have been committed between April 2018 and September 2019.

The prosecution said, “The defendants participated in a bank and wire fraud scheme involving three key phases.

“First, members of the conspiracy fraudulently opened more than 60 business bank accounts at national banks. The accounts were typically in the names of corporate entities. To open the accounts, members of the conspiracy presented real personal identifying information, including names and social security numbers, of other people.”

“Second, members of the conspiracy deposited into the accounts fraud money that they typically obtained from victims in one of two ways – in some instances, members of the conspiracy deposited stolen or forged cheques; in other instances, members of the conspiracy fraudulently obtained wire and automated clearinghouse transfers.”

“Third, members of the conspiracy accessed the fraud proceeds by transferring them into other accounts or by withdrawing cash.”

“To date, law enforcement has identified more than 100 fraudulent transactions in furtherance of the conspiracy, totaling more than $18m.”

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