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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Nigerian Man Using False Identification Convicted in Scheme to Commit Disaster Fraud

HOUSTON ‐ A man using a false identification has entered a guilty plea in a scheme to obtain a fraudulent government loan for damage sustained from Hurricane Irma, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Oluseyi Jeremiah Olagoke Adebayo aka Jeremiah Adebayo Oluyesi, 44, a Nigerian man who illegally resided in Houston, pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with a major disaster. He admitted that from October 2017 to February 2018, he used the identification of an Orlando, Florida, resident in an attempt to obtain a fraudulent disaster home loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in connection to Hurricane Irma.

The SBA provides long-term low-interest loans to businesses and non-profit organizations in the aftermath of a declared disaster. Loan proceeds are to be used solely for the repair or replacement of real estate, inventory, supplies, machinery and equipment damaged during a declared disaster. Hurricane Irma impacted the Gulf Coast region, including the state of Florida, and was declared a disaster in September 2017. 

Adebayo admitted he aided and abetted others in submitting an application to the SBA in October 2017 for a $118,900 home disaster loan which contained several potential fraud indicators. Further, Adebayo admitted he attempted to collect on the loan for the Florida property.

Adebayo appeared at a U.S. Post Office in Houston on Feb. 7, 2018, to obtain the fraudulent loan disbursement check. At that time, he used a counterfeit passport with the identification of the Florida resident to obtain the check. At that time, he was also found in possession of a counterfeit U.S. visa.   

U.S. District Judge Gray Miller accepted the plea and set sentencing for Aug. 16, 2018, at which time Adebayo faces up to 30 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.  

SBA-Office of Inspector General and U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Day is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Disaster Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated May 24, 2018