A Nigerian, Kolawole Bamidele Akande, has been extradited from the United Kingdom (UK) and arraigned before a United States (US) federal court on multiple money fraud charges.
Prosecutors said Akande defrauded a southwest North Dakota company of hundreds of thousands of dollars using multiple aliases.
“He has been known to use multiple aliases including Patric Elis Ferguson, David Louis Wallace and Ramos Joseph Hogan and poses a significant flight risk,” the US Department of Justice said in a press statement.
Interim US Attorney for the District of North Dakota Nicolas W. Chase said Akande is one of three Nigerian nationals indicted in February 2020 for their alleged involvement in stealing money from an unnamed Dickinson business through a complex scheme of mail and wire fraud.
Akande who is being held without bond, stood before a judge to face the four conspiracy charges relating to wire fraud, money laundering, mail fraud and bank fraud.
Two co-defendants are named in the case, Olawale Sule and Oluwafemi Elijah Olasode, according to officials.
Sule was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay restitution in February 2021.
Olasode, on the other hand, was convicted of a similar felony and sentenced to time served and ordered to pay restitution in September.
The charge alleges that Akande participated in a complicated computer intrusion scheme targeting the unnamed Dickinson company, which was said to be defrauded out of approximately $348,000.
The complaint asserts that Akande and his accomplices fraudulently obtained cheques from the organisation via mail and deposited them at financial institutions in Texas.
Agencies involved in the investigation included the FBI, US Postal Inspection Service, US Department of Homeland Security, as well as the US Attorneys’ Offices for the Districts of Northern and Eastern Texas.