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.