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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 8, 2019

Nigerian National Extradited To United States To Face Federal Charges For Leading International Fraud Scheme That Victimized Dozens Of Financial Institutions

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Lawrence Keefe
today announced the extradition of Adedeji Adeniran, a national of Nigeria, to the Northern
District Florida.

On Nov. 2, 2019, Nigeria extradited Adeniran, age 56, to the Northern District of Florida. He
arrived in the United States on Nov. 3. Adeniran was the leader of a criminal group that committed
a large bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud conspiracy that involved a loss of $4.1 million and
involved 42 victim financial institutions. Between 2002 and 2004, members of the criminal group
fraudulently obtained the identities of others and opened numerous bank accounts in the United
States. The group members deposited counterfeited or forged checks into those accounts and then
wired the proceeds of the fraud to Hong Kong, Turkey, Nigeria, and the United Arab Emirates. The
criminal group consisted of three cells, one in New York City, one in Chicago, and one in South
Florida. Adeniran is alleged to be the leader of the South Florida cell and coordinated the opening
of fraudulent bank accounts, the deposit of forged or counterfeit checks into the accounts, the
issuance of fraudulent checks and debit card withdrawals from the fraudulent accounts, and the
transfer of monies to other accounts within and outside the United States. On May 2, 2005, a grand
jury in the Northern District of Florida returned a 27-count indictment charging eight defendants
with conspiracy to commit bank, mail, and wire fraud, and 26 counts of bank fraud. Adeniran is
charged in 20 counts of the indictment. Adeniran fled the United States in 2005 and has remained a
fugitive until this year. Based upon an extradition request of the United States, a Nigerian court
issued a warrant for Adeniran’s arrest on Oct. 23, 2018. Adeniran was arrested by Nigerian
authorities on March 21, 2019, and bail was denied.
Adeniran was found extraditable on May 21, 2019.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice issued a final surrender order on
Oct. 17, 2019, and Nigeria surrendered Adeniran to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Adeniran was arraigned in federal court on Nov. 4, 2019, at the U.S. Courthouse in
Tallahassee.

Adeniran is set for trial on Jan. 6, 2020, at 8:15 a.m. at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee.

Adeniran faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, and five years’
supervised release, on each of the 20 charged counts.

On March 30, 2006, while Adeniran was a fugitive outside the United States, the United States
obtained the forfeiture of Adeniran’s residence in Miramar, Florida.

Five co-conspirators named in the indictment have previously pleaded guilty:

• Daphnee Philias pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud on Sept. 7, 2005.
• Stephen Adetona pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and two counts of bank fraud on
Sept. 13, 2005.
• Adeyinka Olushola Cheese pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud on Nov. 10,
2005.
• Fatai Taiwo pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud on Feb. 27, 2006.
• Anthony Goldman pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud on April 13, 2006.

Two other defendants remain fugitives.

This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Kunz is prosecuting the
case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs of the Department’s Criminal
Division provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from Nigeria.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that
serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access
public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Florida
website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern
District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

Updated November 8, 2019