Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






Nigerian pleads innocent to bank fraud

Posted by By BRENDAN KIRBY on 2005/07/08 | Views: 419 |

Nigerian pleads innocent to bank fraud


An Atlanta man has pleaded innocent to allegations that he participated in a scheme to steal money by altering the payee line on corporate bank checks.

An Atlanta man has pleaded innocent to allegations that he participated in a scheme to steal money by altering the payee line on corporate bank checks.

It is the latest in an ongoing investigation involving Nigerians who investigators contend recruited people in the Mobile area to cash fraudulent checks. Oluyomi Oshinaike, a Nigerian who legally resides in the United States, entered his plea in federal court in Mobile on Wednesday.

Two others already have pleaded guilty and received prison sentences. Adrian Chike Okakpu, 25, received a two-year prison term in April, while Okwudili Umenyiora, 26, received 18 months. Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Butler Jr. also ordered both men to make restitution totaling $131,867.

Authorities have characterized Oshinaike as a mid-level operator, similar to Okakpu. Umenyiora played a more prominent role but received a lighter sentence because of a less-serious criminal record.

Unlike Umenyiora and Okakpu, Oshinaike does not face the prospect of deportation because he is legally in the United States. His court-appointed lawyer, Robert Ratliff, said his client moved to the United States with his family in 1998 when he was a teenager.

"He is a legal, permanent resident," Ratliff said.

Oshinaike originally was indicted under the name "Abdul," but law enforcement officers did not know his real name. Authorities said Oshinaike saw a newspaper story about the case and surrendered to U.S. marshals in Atlanta in May.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bert Milling Jr. scheduled the case for the September trial term and allowed him to return to his Atlanta home while the case is pending.

Ratliff said his client has demonstrated a willingness to make court dates.

"He made it down here (Wednesday), so he doesn't appear to be too much of a risk," he said.

According to U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigators, Oshinaike along with others stole commercial checks from Coca-Cola and Rock-Tenn Co. of Norcross, Ga., in the amounts of $6,974 and $124,893, respectively. They then recruited Mobile-area residents to cash them.

The crimes are federal because they allegedly obtained funds from federally insured banks that cashed the checks. Four residents were allowed to enter a pre-trial diversion program, although court records indicate that one of them, Stanley Derrick Ragin, failed to comply with the terms of the program. Charges have been reinstated against him and set for trial next month.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (1)

Gravatar
New
Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.