US Federal prosecutors said an Atlanta, Georgia-based Nigerian, Olufolajimi Abegunde has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for his role in an internet fraud scheme that stole an estimated $15m through computer and wire fraud.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis, Tennessee, said on Thursday that the 32-year-old Abegunde was sentenced Tuesday for wire fraud, the second Nigerian to be sentenced in less than a week. Last week in Missouri, another Nigerian, Segun Prosper Otaru was also jailed for cyber fraud.
After his arrest last year, Abegunde lied to Nigerian officials that his arrest was based on mistaken identity and asked for help to get him out of the FBI jaws.
But court documents showed otherwise.
Prosecutors said the Atlanta resident and several other people created fake business emails and profiles on dating websites to trick victims into sending money to bogus bank accounts. Funds were laundered and wired to destinations in Nigeria, Ghana and some other West African countries.
The scams caused about $15 million in losses for victims.
Abegunde’s role was that he helped launder money through a compromised business email of a land title company located in Bellingham, Washington, and a real estate company in Memphis, Tennessee.
The case against Abegunde by US Department of Justice:
A citizen of Nigeria residing in Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to 78 months in prison yesterday for his role in an international cyber fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant of the Western District of Tennessee.
Olufolajimi Abegunde, 32, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sheryl L. Lipman of the Western District of Tennessee who also ordered Abegunde to pay $57,911.62 in restitution to the victims of his offense. Abegunde and Javier Luis Ramos-Alonso, 29, were convicted in March after a seven-day trial in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Ramos-Alonso previously received a 31-month sentence for his role in the scheme.
Abegunde and Ramos-Alonso participated in a criminal organization in which members “spoofed” emails and created fake profiles on dating websites in order to fool victims into sending money to bogus bank accounts under the control of members of the conspiracy. The proceeds would be laundered and subsequently wired out of the United States to destinations including West Africa. The organization as a whole is believed to have caused more than $10,000,000 in damage to U.S. citizens and businesses.
The evidence presented at trial showed that Abegunde, who received an MBA from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, engaged in black-market currency exchanges over the life of the conspiracy. Purporting to hold himself out as a legitimate businessman, Abegunde claimed association with a business entity that was not yet operational in late 2017, so for his primary source of income he relied on his off-the-book currency exchanges. Through this network, Abegeunde played a key role, along with Ramos-Alonso, in laundering fraud funds from an Oct. 3, 2016, business email compromise (BEC) of a land title company located in Bellingham, Washington. The proceeds of another BEC perpetrated in July 2016 upon a real estate company in Memphis, Tennessee, also moved through parts of the same criminal organization.
Abegunde, who faced numerous account closures from banks in the United States, used a complicated network of third-party bank accounts to disguise his illicit activity. The proof at trial established that Abegunde told people that he could not receive payments into accounts that could be “tracked,” and that he preferred to engage in cash transactions because they were easier to clean and “eliminated the risk.”
In addition to his financial activities, Abegunde also engaged in a conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Abegunde was married during his studies at Texas A&M, but divorced his wife in 2016 to marry a U.S. service member through whom he could obtain immigration and health care benefits and also open new bank accounts. He continued to live with his first wife in Atlanta while his U.S. service member wife was deployed to South Korea. While incarcerated and awaiting trial in the Western District of Tennessee, Abegunde continued his conspiratorial activities, trying to convince his fake spouse, who has since filed for divorce, to refuse to testify against him. Abegunde also engaged in witness tampering by sending a self-written Motion to Dismiss bearing his former attorney’s name and professional attestation. The evidence at trial established that Abegunde drafted and sent the motion, which his attorney expressly did not authorize, to his faux spouse in an effort to deceive her into not testifying against him.
Five other individuals have pleaded guilty to being involved in the scheme. Additionally, several foreign nationals are awaiting extradition to the United States to face trial. Others are still at large.
Accomplices of Abegunde:
Andrew “Andy” Jackson
Ayodeji Olumide Ojo
Dr. Dennis Brown
James “Jim” Roy
Javier Luis Ramos Alonso
Olufolajimi (FJ) Abegunde
Sherry Jupiter Martinez
Sumaila Hardi Wumpini
Victor Daniel Fortune Okorhi
WHY MATHEMATICS IS CRUCIAL TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – PROMASIDOR MD
Mathematics education is the very foundation of society and the pillar of science and technology without which a nation can never become prosperous and economically independent.
This was the submission of Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Anders Einarsson while speaking last weekend in Lagos, at the finals of season 5 of the Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics Television Quiz Show sponsored by Cowbell Milk, the flagship brand of his company.
Einarsson further explained in a chat with newsmen that the importance of Mathematics in the life of individuals and nations cannot be over emphasised, adding that he was very impressed that the Cowbellpedia initiative has achieved its objective going by the record number of 56,073 participants that took the qualifying examination this year.
This according to him, is a huge testament to the Cowbellpedia initiative and the interest that Nigerians have in Mathematics. “I am convinced that with the arrays of talents displayed by these young Nigerians here today, Nigeria can rule the world. I advise the youth to continue to sustain their interest in Mathematics because the future is theirs,” he said.
He maintained that Promasidor has found a correlation between the development of cognitive ability that Cowbell Our Milk, gives, and its passion for Nigeria.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Stephen Adebunmi, who represented the Acting Registrar of the NECO, Mr Abubakar Gana, explained that since Mathematics is very central to human and nation’s capacity, the subject deserves all the support from public and private organisations.
The NECO boss commended Promasidor for providing “an excellent platform” to showcase these young Nigerian Mathematicians and future inventors.
Meanwhile, in a thrilling Cowellpedia Mathematics competition final encounter last weekend, Michael Enehizena of The Scholars Universal Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State and Oghenero Ologe of Zionfield Pinnacle School, Ikorodu, Lagos State won the crown in the Junior and Senior category respectively.
Also in the Junior category, Abdul-Quayum Alli, of Ota Total Academy, Ota, Ogun State, and David Charles of Graceland International Secondary, School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, came second and third respectively.
Akinyemi Dabira of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State and Hezekiah Olabisi of Bibo Oluwa Academy, Ilesha, Osun emerged as first and second runner-up respectively in the Senior category.
The two champions got N2 million each and an all-expense paid education excursion outside the country.
The first and second runners-up in each category received N1.5 million and N1 million respectively, while the teachers of the top prize winners were awarded N500, 000. Those of the first and second runners-up received N400, 000 and N300, 000 respectively.
– Ends –
Promasidor was founded in 1979 by Robert Rose, who left the United Kingdom in 1957 for Zimbabwe to pursue his African dream. It has since grown with presence in 25 African countries. Promasidor Nigeria has achieved tremendous growth since it commenced operations in 1993 with 6 product brands in the market.
Promasidor produce, distribute and market quality range of products such as Cowbell, Loya, & Miksi milk, Top Tea, Onga seasoning across the country bringing joy to millions of consumers. Its Milk powders, culinary and beverage products are affordable, delicious and good for all.
NAFDAC says it will reduce substandard and falsified drugs to five per cent prevalence by 2025
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it will reduce substandard and falsified medicines to five per cent prevalence by 2025 in the country.
The Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said this at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.
Adeyeye said that one of the strategic plans of NAFDAC was to reduce substandard and falsified medicines to “not more than five per cent prevalence” in Nigeria by the year 2025.
She said that “the last data we have on the prevalence of substandard and falsified medicines in Nigeria is 16.7 per cent.”
She, however, added that the 16.7 per cent prevalence was 14 years ago, noting that it was time the agency did another survey to determine the present percentage of prevalence of substandard and falsified medicines in the country.
Adeyeye explained that NAFDAC had been proactive and vigilant toward curbing substandard and falsified medicines in the country, stressing that the move became necessary to safeguard the health of the populace.
She said that the agency would make it mandatory to identify and test the active pharmaceutical ingredient in all imported and locally manufactured drugs in the country from January 2020.
This, according to her, is to ensure compliance with international standards.
The director-general noted that besides safeguarding the health of the people, the regulatory control would also build confidence in Nigerians about the medicines available in the country.
Adeyeye, who said that substandard drugs could come through importation, explained that NAFDAC started enforcing regulations and control of active pharmaceutical ingredients of all drugs imported or manufactured locally in 2019.
He added that the agency had been requesting for the drug master file that had the history of processing and safety of the drugs.
She said that in 2018, the agency started a country-wide inspection of 165 companies, using the international standard to ascertain Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliance.
Adeyeye added that part of the GMP was the use of appropriate manufacturing equipment and facilities by manufacturers to ensure adequate control.
She said that measures were also put in place for the production of quality products.
TOP EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT, ADEDEJI MICHAEL RECEIVES THE ENTREPRENEUR AFRICA PRIZE FOR EDUCATION
Top educational services consultant, Mr. Adedeji Michael was again honoured and celebrated penultimate Saturday, 2nd November, 2019 when he received The Entrepreneur Africa Prize for Education, organised by The Entrepreneur Africa Award 2019. The glamorous event took place at Terra Kulture Arena, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The Entrepreneur Africa is a media entrepreneurship lifestyle company,
with primary focus on African businesses and the people behind them, celebrating economic freedom, and reward enterprise and innovation.”
It would be recalled that
The amiable Michael is an eminent professional, educationist .
Adedeji Michael has gained a prominent position in society due to the exemplary work he has done in his career in the education sector. His raise to prominence in such a short span can be attributed to his strong will power, caliber, conviction, dedication and leadership quality.
He was a big player and core contributor to Nigerian Schools Cultural Festival in 2008 and 2009 respectively organized at Lagos State Council for Arts & Culture where he delivered lecture on literacy in literature in the 21stcentury academics.
Adedeji Michael Ademola has attended so many professional courses/seminars & conferences in Nigeria and abroad to expand his horizon and gain more experience in what he enjoys doing.
• NISCUFEST: Nigerian Schools Cultural Festival in 2008 & 2009 – Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria.
• AACE: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education in 2014 – Jacksonville, Florida, United States.
• EUROMONEY CONFERENCES: The Nigeria Banking and capital markets conference in 2014. Eko Hotel & Suites. Lagos Nigeria.
• AKWAABA AFRICAN TRAVEL MARKET Nov 2016: Convention center, Eko Hotel & Suites. Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria.
• NLP (Neuro – Linguistic Programming) SEMINAR –INNOCENTMINDS EDUCATION AND TRAINING. LAGOS – FEB 19TH- 25TH, 2018
• International Education Fair 2019 – Sheraton Hotel Ikeja Lagos.
Adedeji michael has made a distinct contribution to modernizing and revitalizing the existing education system that had lost its vigor and become rusted over time. Born out of the need to infuse into the existing educational system, an outstanding program that will greatly benefit students in secondary school of learning came (DSELF) Digital School Education Literature Film from the parent company which Michael is the brain behind this great initiative.
The DSELF is an educative, informative and entertaining film show project for secondary schools that do not have opportunity to watch literature texts that is been thought in their various schools.
Recommended English literature text movies that is currently in WAEC, NECO &GCE syllabus is being digitally displayed on big screen with multi-dimensional sound effects, creating a general fun-filled atmosphere to learn.
Having established presence in over 4,500 secondary schools in Lagos region and beyond.
It would be recalled that he was honoured July 28, 2019 in Lagos when he received 2019 Prestige Excellence Award as Outstanding and Innovative Educational Service Provider of the.
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