News

Bowie Man Sentenced For Attempting To Obtain Over $500,000 In Fraudulent Car Loans From Credit Unions

Recruited At Least Nine Others to Submit the Fraudulent Loan Applications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8 , 2014


Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Duane Akuffo, age 28, of Bowie, Maryland, today to two years in prison for bank fraud, in connection with a scheme to obtain more than $500,000 in fraudulent car loans from credit unions. Judge Blake also entered an order that Akuffo forfeit $357,356.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to his plea agreement, from June 2010 to August 2012, Akuffo presented automobile loan applications to credit unions which falsely represented that the automobile which the applicant was purchasing was a luxury automobile, and contained false information about the applicants’ income and employment. Akuffo also submitted fraudulent pay stubs, “Used Vehicle Buyers Orders,” and verifications of insurance. Akuffo submitted numerous applications in his own name, but he also recruited at least nine others to submit the loan applications. At least 17 loan applications were submitted, seeking a total of $534,276.

Relying on the materially false representations, the credit unions issued loans totaling $357,356 to the applicants. Once these funds were disbursed to the applicant, a portion of the loan proceeds was given to Akuffo and others involved in scheme. The applicant often made several payments on the purported automobile loan in order to make the loan appear legitimate. Eventually, the applicant would default on the loan, causing a loss to the credit union.

Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Since the inception of FFETF in November 2009, the Justice Department has filed more than 12,841 financial fraud cases against nearly 18,737 defendants including nearly 3,500 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney David I. Sharfstein, who prosecuted the case.

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