US jury indicts 3 Nigerians over theft of $348,000

March 2, 2020
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File: One of the Nigerians arrested for wire fraud in US in 2019

Three Nigerians have been indicted by a US federal grand jury in Bismarck, North Dakota, after investigators said they stole $348,000 from a Dickinson company through a complicated computer fraud scheme.

U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley announced that federal court documents were unsealed on Feb. 10, revealing that the federal grand jury has indicted Kolawole Bamidele Akande, a/k/a Patric Elis Ferguson, Olawale Sule a/k/a Brand King Mohamed; and Babatope Joseph Aderinoye a/k/a Wilson Tidwel.

They were indicted on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud; Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud; Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud; Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering; Mail Fraud; and Money Laundering.

The indictment alleges that the defendants fraudulently obtained checks from the unnamed Dickinson company, based in North Dakota, through the mail and deposited these checks in fraudulently obtained accounts in financial institutions in Texas.

Once the money was available, the defendants withdrew or transferred the funds to hide where the money came from, the indictment says.

“While the alleged financial scheme in this case is complex, our investigative team has pieced this string of fraudulent acts together and we look forward to presenting our evidence in court,” U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley said.

Sule’s arraignment was held before federal Judge Clare Hochhalter, on Friday, Feb. 28, in Bismarck.

Sule, who was arrested Dec. 18, under a separate indictment for money laundering, made an initial appearance in federal court in the Northern District of Texas. The court there ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to take Sule to North Dakota.

This case is being investigated by the FBI; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District and Eastern District of Texas, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan O’Konek.

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