Nigerian extradited to US for alleged involvement in $348K fraud scheme against Dickinson business
A Nigerian national was extradited from the United Kingdom to Bismarck, where he appeared in federal court on Monday to face fraud charges related to an alleged $348,000 wire and mail fraud scheme perpetuated against a Dickinson based company.
BISMARCK — A Nigerian man appeared in federal court on Monday regarding money fraud charges alleging that he defrauded a southwestern North Dakota company out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Dickinson-based company was not named in the press release issued by the United States Department of Justice.
Interim U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota, Nicolas W. Chase, announced that court proceedings have begun for one of three Nigerian nationals indicted in February of 2020 for their alleged involvement in stealing money from an unnamed Dickinson business through a complex scheme of mail and wire fraud.
The defendant, Kolawole Bamidele Akande, made his initial court appearance Monday after being extradited from the United Kingdom and held without bond. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Akande has been known to use multiple aliases including Patric Elis Ferguson, David Louis Wallace and Ramos Joseph Hogan, and poses a significant flight risk.
Akande stood before a judge to face the four conspiracy charges relating to wire fraud, money laundering, mail fraud and bank fraud.
Two named co-defendants in the case include Olawale Sule and Oluwafemi Elijah Olasode. Sule was previously convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to payment restitution in Feb. 17, 2021. Olasode was convicted of similar felony and sentenced to time served and ordered to pay restitution in Sept. 7, 2021.
The indictment alleges that Akande participated in a complicated computer intrusion scheme targeting the unnamed Dickinson company, which was said to be defrauded out of approximately $348,000.00. It asserts that Akande and his two accomplices fraudulently obtained checks from the organization via mail and deposited these checks in illegitimately obtained accounts at financial institutions in Texas. Subsequently the three men allegedly withdrew and transferred the funds in an effort to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source and ownership of the money.
Agencies involved in the investigation included the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Districts of Northern and Eastern Texas.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan J. O’Konek in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota in Bismarck.