….case adjourned until Nov. 13, 18
Three foreign nationals charged with $3.5 million bank fraud in the U.S., may be jailed 42 years cumulatively if convicted.
A federal grand jury indicted the trio for allegedly defrauding businesses and banks.
The defendants are 31-year-old Damilola Lawal of Windsor Mill, 39-year-old Idowu Ademola Raji of Pikesville and 30-year-old Akolade Ojo of Owings Mills, all Nigerians.
They all reside in the state of Maryland.
They were charged with federal wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, passport fraud, and aggravated identity theft in a 12-count indictment that was returned on Oct. 26 and unsealed on Nov. 4 during their initial court appearances, PerSecondnews reports.
The trio had allegedly conspired with four others to defraud businesses and financial institutions by allegedly using false, forged and counterfeited passports and other identification documents to create limited liability companies and open fraudulent bank accounts using stolen identities.
Prosecution also alleged that the defendants then used a messaging app to communicate about financial transactions directing members regarding the deposit, withdrawal, transfer, and conversion of fraudulently obtained funds.
On Sept. 27, 2019, a co-conspirator was alleged to have sent a victim a fraudulent e-mail purporting to be from the victim’s attorney, advising the victim to send a $65,000 wire transfer to an account controlled by another co-conspirator as part of a real estate purchase.
Using a messaging app, they sent photographs and messages to show the victim was making the wire transfer.
Once the money arrived, one of the co-conspirators was asked to obtain a cashier’s check and make cash withdrawals, the authorities alleged.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the wire fraud conspiracy and for each count of wire fraud.
Lawal also faces a maximum sentence of 10 years for passport fraud; and Raji faces a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence imposed for aggravated identity theft.
At their arraignments in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Magistrate Deborah Boardman, ordered that that all three defendants be detained pending a detention hearing.
Hearing for Ojo and Lawal are scheduled for November 13, 2020, while hearing for Raji is scheduled for November 18, 2020.