A Canada-based Nigerian, Olumide Bankole Morakinyo has been sentenced to eight years in prison in the United States of America for defrauding the Texas Employees Retirement System.
Morakinyo was sentenced by a court in Austin Texas, according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney’s office of the Western District of Texas.
He will also pay $975,863 in restitution to multiple victims for conspiracy to commit money laundering.
‘This Defendant’s scheme and those like it victimise our most vulnerable citizens and cost taxpayers billions each year,’ said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff.
‘Our office will use all of the available legal tools to identify and bring to justice those who commit cyber-enabled fraud and launder the proceeds.’
According to court documents, Morakinyo conspired with Lukman Shina Aminu, a resident of New Hampshire, to create unauthorized accounts for participants in the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) internet portal.
Personally identifiable information (PII) of various ERS participants was used to make changes to their accounts in the ERS internet portal.
Bank deposit information on file in the system was changed to re-route retirement payments to debit cards controlled by Aminu.
Aminu, who possessed the physical debit cards, would withdraw money under instructions from Morakinyo and then transfer or deposit that money at Morakinyo’s direction.
The debit cards were also used for cash withdrawals and to purchase money orders for personal expenses and for buying used vehicles to be shipped overseas to Nigeria and Benin for resale.
With these international automobile transactions, Morakinyo and his conspirators laundered the fraud proceeds by concealing the source of the funds and making the money appear to be legitimate income.
‘Today’s sentencing of Olumide Morakinyo highlights how seriously IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS CI) and our law enforcement partners take the issue of identity theft,’ said IRS CI Special Agent in Charge Richard Goss of the Houston Field Office.
U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman also ordered that Morakinyo be placed on three years of supervised release after completing his prison term.
Credit: Eons Intelligence
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