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Press Release

Nigerian Man Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding the IRS

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Nigerian man who formerly resided in Herndon was sentenced today to one year in prison for his involvement in stealing income tax refunds in 2015 and laundering the proceeds of his crimes.

According to court documents, Odewale Abraham, 50, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of government money and to two counts of money laundering. Abraham controlled three bank accounts into which income tax refunds were wired. The tax returns were filed electronically in the names of actual taxpayers, but their refunds were fraudulently directed to bank accounts controlled by Abraham.

Abraham would then make cash withdrawals or use debit cards to purchase multiple Money Gram money orders in denominations of $990 or $995 at a Walmart in Vienna. Most of the Money Gram orders were made payable to Odewale Abraham, but were purchased with a debit card from an account that had been fraudulently opened in another person’s name. The purchase of the money orders was designed in whole or in part to conceal the nature and source of the proceeds of the specified unlawful activity.  

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell L. Carlberg prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-167.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated June 28, 2019

Financial Fraud