New Hampshire Man Charged with Laundering Money Stolen from Texas Retirees
Federal and state authorities arrested 34-year-old Lukman Shina Aminu in Manchester, NH, today for his alleged scheme to launder thousands of dollars from multiple fraudulent schemes, including thousands stolen from former Texas state employees retirement plans, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division, and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw.
A federal complaint unsealed in Austin today charges Aminu with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The complaint alleges that beginning in June 2017, personally identifiable information (PII) from state employees was used to make changes to their accounts in the Employees Retirement System of Texas internet portal. Bank deposit information on file in the system was changed which re-routed retirement payments to a debit card Aminu controlled. Aminu then used the debit card for cash withdrawals and to purchase money orders which were used for personal expenses and to purchase used vehicles to be shipped overseas to Nigeria and Benin for resale. The complaint also alleges that Aminu received multiple transfers from victims of other schemes on other debit cards that had been opened using their PII. The complaint states that this scheme involving used car purchases and shipments is a common way for perpetrators of fraud in the United States to send money back to Nigeria (in the value of the shipped car), while simultaneously laundering the funds or “cleaning the money” to make the money appear as legitimate income.
Aminu remains in federal custody following his arrest. He is awaiting a detention hearing in the District of New Hampshire and a subsequent transfer to the Austin Division of the Western District of Texas. Upon conviction, Aminu faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
This criminal complaint resulted from a continuing investigation by the FBI and the Texas Department of Public Safety – Public Integrity Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Galdo is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.
It is important to note that a criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.