Wire fraud: Three Nigerians jailed in US; EFCC worried
Nigerian authorities are worried at the growing incidence of wired fraud linked to Nigerian nationals across the world. A senior official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) disclosed that in spite of the global awareness to stem identity fraud, a few Nigerians are still hooked to the illicit business which has brought shame to the nation.
In the last 48 hours, no fewer than three Nigerians were sentenced in the United States over offences bordering on wire fraud.
In one instance, two Nigerian nationals who attempted to defraud banks in Rhode Island and Massachusetts of more than $1 million were sentenced to 13 months in federal prison.
U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Stephen Dambruch says Olugboyega Akinloye Fasanya, of Woonsocket, and Anthony Chidozie Ezike, of Pawtucket, have admitted they altered checks and deposited them into the banks using counterfeit passports from Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa as identification.
Prosecutors say the two 36-year-olds deposited fraudulent checks totalling about $1.2 million and withdrew about $487,000 before the fraud was detected.
Fasanya and Ezike face deportation proceedings after completing their incarceration.
Fasanya has also been ordered to pay about $380,000 in restitution to the affected banks while Ezike has been ordered to pay back about $230,000.
In Texas, another Nigerian man got 14 years in a U.S. prison for leading a fraud ring that prosecutors say laundered $3.5 million from hundreds of victims.
Ochuko Sylvester Eruotor was sentenced Friday in Austin. The 42-year-old Eruotor, who lived in Canada, must also repay nearly $1.7 million.
Eruotor last December was extradited from Germany. He pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Prosecutors linked Eruotor to a money laundering network in which victims were targeted with false reports of relatives in jail, fake investments, tax fraud and romance scams.
Prosecutors say Eruotor was the eighth person convicted and sentenced to federal prison. The others were earlier sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 months to nine years.