Three Nigerians: Oladayo Oladokun, Farouk Kukoyi and Baldwin Osuji along side 12 other nationals have been charged to court by the United States government on a three counts charge, bordering on ‘bank and wire fraud’ and ‘aggravated identity theft’ before the United States’ Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger.
In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have “wilfully and knowingly did 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.”
In recent times, many Nigerians have been charged including a list of 77 Nigerians fingered in FBI probes and more recently the Nigerian CEO of Peace Airline who was charged with wire frauds in the US.