Readout of Justice Department Officials' Trip to Ghana and Togo to Advance West Africa Consumer Fraud Initiative
A federal grand jury in Puerto Rico returned a superseding indictment charging four men with one count of conspiracy to launder funds from wire, mail, and access device fraud schemes. One defendant, Oluwasegun Baiyewu, was previously charged on Oct. 21, 2021.
According to court documents, Oluwaseun Adelekan 40, and Temitope Omotayo, 40, both of Staten Island, New York; Ifeoluwa Dudubo, 37, of Austin, Texas; and Temitope Suleiman, 37, and Oluwasegun Baiyewu, 37, of Richmond, Texas, conspired to launder funds from different international organized fraud schemes, including romance, pandemic relief unemployment insurance fraud, and business email compromise scams. These fraud schemes disproportionately impacted elderly or otherwise vulnerable Americans.
“Fraud that targets seniors is reprehensible, and money laundering networks like the one alleged in this case allow fraudsters to profit from their unlawful schemes,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The department is committed to pursuing investigations and prosecutions of those who victimize the elderly and other vulnerable members of our community.”
“These charges reflect the Department’s ongoing commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to identify and hold criminals accountable, especially those who prey on vulnerable victims,” said U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow for the District of Puerto Rico. “We remain steadfast in our resolve to prosecute individuals who target seniors who have been victimized for far too long by individuals who hide in the shadows and in foreign nations to commit their crimes.”
“Cases like this demonstrate the FBI’s commitment to protecting the American people and defending them against financial fraud schemes,” said Executive Assistant Director Tim Langan of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. “The FBI will continue to hold anyone accountable who seeks to exploit vulnerable Americans, including the elderly.”
The superseding indictment alleges that in 2020 and 2021, the defendants worked together to profit from efforts to “clean” money from scams involving victims, many of whom were older adults, in California, Illinois, Washington, and Nevada, and business email compromise schemes affecting victim companies in Puerto Rico and Missouri. After receiving the proceeds, the defendants or their co-conspirators conducted hundreds of transactions with the funds, including by obtaining cashier’s checks and money orders, and then using the cashier’s checks and money orders to purchase used cars that were shipped overseas to Nigeria.
Adelekan, Baiyewu, Dudubo, Omotayo, and Suleiman are charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, and FBI San Juan Cyber Task Force are investigating this case, with assistance from the National Unemployment Insurance Fraud Task Force supporting the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Strike Force teams.
Trial Attorneys Emily C. Powers and Brandon Robers of the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Edwin G. Mercado for the District of Puerto Rico are prosecuting the case.
If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is standing by at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This U.S. Department of Justice hotline, managed by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the needs of the victim and identifying relevant next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to assist them in reporting, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis. Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. The hotline is staffed seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. eastern time. English, Spanish, and other languages are available.
For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch, visit its website at www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico visit their website at www.justice.gov/usao-pr. Information about the Department of Justice’s Elder Fraud Initiative is available at www.justice.gov/elderjustice. Information about the Justice Department's COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force is available at www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.