US Courts Jails Nigerian Mechanic For Defrauding 10 Banks, To Return N48million

A Nigerian guy in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, United States whose law firm said his prison cohorts

A Nigerian guy in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, United States whose law firm said his prison cohorts in Africa “took advantage” of him is headed to federal prison for his role in an identity theft scheme in which conspirators tricked 10 financial institutions into sending copy debit and credit history playing cards, then utilised them to acquire products for resale in Nigeria.

 

US District Decide J. Nicholas Ranjan sentenced Sulemon Arowokoko, 32, to 3½ decades driving bars, Nigeria Overseas reviews. 



Arowokoko and one more Nigerian guy, Samiat Akinyemi, ended up indicted in 2020 on costs of conspiracy, accessibility machine fraud and aggravated identity theft.

 

Arowokoko pleaded guilty in June.

 

He admitted that he was component of a conspiracy to steal the identity of financial institution customers to get copy debit and credit history playing cards in the customers’ names. The criminal team then employed the cards to acquire extra than $250,000 really worth of present playing cards, clothing, fragrance, jewellery, and furnishings. Arowokoko shipped some of the goods back again to Nigeria.

 

Assistant US Legal professional Jeff Bengel stated the theft ring was advanced. A single member used personal details from a target and contacted the person’s bank to “hijack their account.”

 

As soon as inside, the group questioned for new lender playing cards to be issued in the person’s identify and despatched to an tackle related to the conspiracy. A single of those addresses was Arowokoko’s residence in Pittsburgh a 2nd was a dwelling in which he had formerly labored as a house wellbeing care aide.

From the slide of 2017 to the summer time of 2019, when the US Department of Homeland Stability raided Arowokoko’s property, he utilised the playing cards hundreds of instances to get merchandise.

 

“This is not a scenario wherever Arowokoko strayed into legal carry out as the outcome of a momentary lapse in judgment,” Mr. Bengel claimed. “Instead, Arowokoko systematically broke the regulation for just about two complete several years.”

 

The fraud brought about losses to dozens of customers at quite a few financial institutions and fiscal establishments.

 

“The outcome of the fraud was a crystal clear benefit to Arowokoko: Reselling goods overseas is more worthwhile if it is acquired in the first instance with another person else’s cash,” Mr. Bengel reported.

 

Arowokoko only stopped when federal brokers caught him.

 

His attorney, Robert Carey Jr., questioned for leniency, indicating Arowokoko merely used the cards but wasn’t the a single who duped the banks into giving them or stole people’s identities.

 

He reported Arowokoko was born in Nigeria in 1989 and came to the US when he was 19, initial to Rhode Island and then to Pittsburgh in 2011, and is a qualified mechanic and nurse with no legal previous until now.

 

 

 

Mr. Carey said the legal operation originated in Nigeria, wherever American products are in demand and fraud techniques are typical, pointing out that the FBI maintains a web page focused to Nigerian “419” techniques. The number refers to the Nigerian crimes code.

 

“Sulemon’s connections in Africa took edge of him,” Mr. Carey explained. “Initially, Mr. Arowokoko was sending legitimately obtained American goods to contacts in Africa. Regretably, the arrangement slipped into legal action. Mr. Arowokoko was delivered with 3rd-celebration credit cards that he utilized to make unauthorized buys. His purpose in the offense was restricted to entering outlets and earning transactions.”

 

He asked for no more than 36 months for his customer.

 

But the decide imposed a time period of 44 months and purchased Arowokoko to shell out $116,000 (somewhere around N48 million) in restitution.

 

Akinyemi, the other Nigerian man already indicted, pleaded responsible in September and is awaiting sentencing.