Nigerian Man Extradited from the United Kingdom to Bismarck, North Dakota on Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud, and Money Laundering Charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota
BISMARCK – United States Attorney Mac Schneider announced that on February 12, 2024, Nigerian citizen Christopher Agbaje made an initial appearance in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota, on charges of 1) Wire Fraud; 2) Mail Fraud; and 3) Money Laundering.
Agbaje appeared at this hearing in Bismarck, North Dakota, after being extradited from the United Kingdom.
At Agbaje’s initial appearance, United States Magistrate Judge Clare R. Hochhalter, ordered that the defendant be detained pending trial, scheduled for April 9, 2024, at 9:00 a.m.
As alleged in the Indictment, between November and December 2020, the defendant participated with others in a sophisticated scheme to defraud a North Dakota law firm out of $198,336.68. As part of this scheme, individuals falsely purported to be a business owner in a legal dispute with a Bismarck, North Dakota company and entered into a fictious attorney-client relationship with this law firm. Through email communications, these individuals made false statements and promises, upon which the law firm relied to their determinant. Thereafter, the law firm received a parcel containing a fraudulent Citibank check payable to the law firm in the amount of $198,850.00 and deposited this check in the law firm’s bank account. Subsequently, at the purported business owner’s request, the law firm sent a $198,336.68 wire transfer to Christopher Agbaje’s business partner. A short time later, Christopher Agbaje directed his business partner to fraudulently initiate a $180,000.00 international wire transfer with the intent to conceal the location, ownership, and control of the law firm’s money.
An Indictment in this case is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan J. O’Konek. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance with securing the arrest and extradition of Agbaje.
Terry W. Van Horn 701-297-7400 firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated February 12, 2024