TWO MEN CHARGED FOR IMPERSONATING U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION OFFICERS IN ADVANCE FEE FRAUD SCHEME
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and David P. D’Amato, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), announced that defendants Saleumsak Khammungkhune, 57, of San Diego, and David Johnson, a/k/a Ukoha Eke, 39, a Nigerian national residing in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, were arrested and charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to impersonate United States Officers and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, Untied States Code, Sections 371 and 1343, respectively. ICE special agents arrested Johnson in Greenbelt, Maryland, on Thursday, May 13, 2010, and Khammungkhune on Saturday, May 15, 2010.
According to court documents, the defendants posed as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and officers and contacted victims through the Internet. The defendants told the victims that $10 million had arrived for them from Nigeria, but that they had to pay U.S. Customs duties and fees to obtain the money. Through this “advance fee” scheme, the defendants defrauded two victims out of approximately $300,000.
Defendant Khammungkhune appeared in federal court in West Palm Beach today and a bond hearing is set for Monday, May 24, 2010. Defendant Johnson appeared in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland on Friday, May 14, 2010 and was ordered detained pending trial.
U.S. Attorney Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry S. Baron.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.