A Nigerian man, Sulaiman Dosunmu pleaded guilty to his involvement in $7 million bank fraud before the United States District Judge, Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court on Tuesday.
The 41-year-old resident of Darby, Pennsylvania admitted his role in a bank conspiracy targeted at 12 different financial institutions in southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. Attorney announced.
US attorney Philip R. Sellinger, according to the US Department of Justice, said Dosunmu participated in the fraudulent activities between 2016 and 2020.
The bank fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million which Dosunmu faces as he awaits sentencing slated for January 13, 2023.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, “The defendant was part of a multi-defendant, Nigerian-based criminal organization that engaged in a massive bank fraud conspiracy in several states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Rhode Island, between June 2016 and March 2020.
“Members of the group acquired numerous business checks that were stolen from the United States mail, altered the payee on the checks to a fraudulent name, and deposited the checks into bank accounts that had been opened with forged foreign passport documents and fraudulent U.S. visas that matched the names on the stolen checks.
“Once the banks credited all or a portion of the funds to the accounts, but before the checks had cleared, the defendants withdrew the funds from ATMs or purchased money orders, using debit cards associated with the fraudulent accounts.
“Members of the organization have used over 400 fraudulent accounts opened with fake identity documents to defraud the victim banks. To date, the total loss to the victim banks is approximately $7 million.”
US DOJ stated further, “Dosunmu admitted using several false identities to open fraudulent bank accounts, making numerous deposits of stolen checks to these accounts, and withdrawing funds from the accounts.
“Five other conspirators have pleaded guilty and one conspirator was convicted in a trial before Judge Hillman in June 2022. Four of these defendants have pending sentencing hearings before Judge Hillman.
“Charges against five other defendants remain pending before the District Court; the charges and allegations against them are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”