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Press Release

Hudson County Man Admits Using Fake Passports to Conduct $450,000 Bank Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Hudson County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a conspiracy that used fake passports to open accounts at victim banks into which he and others deposited phony IRS refund checks, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Mamadou Diallo, 44, of Jersey City, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden to an information charging him with one count of bank fraud conspiracy and one count of false use of a passport.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:

From June 2012 through December 2018, Diallo and others conspired to fraudulently obtain money from four victim banks. Diallo and his conspirators created false passports from various West African countries by affixing their own pictures onto passports bearing names other than their own. They opened fraudulent bank accounts at the victim banks using the doctored passports as photo identification. The conspirators deposited fraudulent checks bearing the routing number for the U.S. Treasury. Once the fraudulent checks were deposited, the conspirators withdrew the funds. To date, the losses associated with the conspiracy exceed $450,000.

The conspiracy to commit bank fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater. The passport fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.  Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 13, 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins; special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina; the U.S. Department of Treasury-Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Inspector General Richard K. Delmar; and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari B. Fontecchio of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

Updated June 3, 2021

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 21-249