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Press Release

Nigerian Citizen Convicted of Defrauding US Victims

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 34-year-old Nigerian man who was residing in Houston has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.


From on or about Jan. 1, 2015, through April 13, 2017, Azeez Abiodun Balogun was involved in a conspiracy that involved many schemes to defraud via the mail. In his primary scheme, Balogun used stolen personal identifying information (PII) of individuals without their permission to commit Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (SIRF). The stolen funds were then loaded onto prepaid debit cards and mailed to addresses Balogun or others controlled in the Houston areas.


Balogun also used the stolen PII to open bank accounts and apply for credit cards. The investigation unraveled approximately 10 different identities and passports Balogun used to open bank accounts and receive fraudulent funds. He opened approximately 30 credit card accounts at Bank of America, Chase Bank and others by using the stolen PII.


U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. accepted the guilty plea and has set sentencing for Jan. 19, 2018. At that time, Balogun faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the conspiracy as well as an additional two years for the identity theft which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. He could also be assessed fines of up to $250,000. He will remain in custody pending that hearing. 


The U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation along with Department of State – Diplomatic Security Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady is prosecuting the case.

Updated October 30, 2017

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft