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US-based Nigerian, Segun Prosper Otaru, jailed four years and three months without parole for online fraud

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A 27-year-old Nigerian will spend the next four years and three months in a United States’ prison over his involvement in online fraud, better known as 419 or yahoo-yahoo in Nigeria.

Segun Prosper Otaru, who lived in St. Robert, Missouri, United States, was first indicted in November 2018 by a federal grand jury.

According to the US Department of Justice statement, Otaru was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips on Friday.

The court also ordered him to pay $25,056 in restitution, and to forfeit the same amount to the government.

Otaru is a legal permanent resident of the United States.

According to court documents, Otaru entered the United States in April 2013, under apparently fraudulent pretences; contrary to the requirements of his student visa, he did not even begin his studies in the United States. The year after entering the United States, Otaru obtained lawful permanent status through marriage to a citizen.

On May 2, 2019, Otaru pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aiding and abetting the theft of public money. According to court documents, over the course of his five years in the United States, Otaru used 13 aliases and multiple bank accounts opened under false identities in order to move funds and perpetrate various frauds as a part of an organized crime network.

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He admitted that, at least as early as 2016, he participated in a scheme to defraud people through various scams, such as posting internet advertisements on sites such as Craigslist.com for goods, services, and rental accommodations. Conspirators sought to induce individuals responding to the advertisements to pay for the goods and services, which they had no intention to provide.

For example, conspirators used existing pictures and descriptions of properties found from legitimate websites to create fraudulent Craigslist postings under properties for rent. When victims responded to the advertisement, conspirators instructed them to send a deposit in order to hold the property.

Conspirators also defrauded business wholesalers by tricking them into wiring funds into accounts they controlled as purported “shipping fees” for merchandise they purchased using stolen credit card numbers. After using a stolen credit card number to purchase items from the victim businesses, conspirators claimed the merchandise needed to be shipped to a foreign country. Conspirators insisted on using their own shipper and instructed victims to charge the full amounts for the merchandise plus shipping fees to the stolen credit card numbers. They instructed victims to send the shipping fees to “their shipper” at the provided bank account maintained by the conspirators, including Otaru’s accounts.

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He also participated in a scheme to submit false and fraudulent federal income tax returns in order to receive refunds. Conspirators used stolen identities to file returns that listed false employers, wages, and employment taxes paid. At least 167 false and fraudulent federal income tax returns were designated for deposit to seven different bank accounts controlled by Otaru and another person. These 167 federal tax returns requested refunds totaling approximately $644,280. They actually received at least $24,356 in fraudulently-obtained tax refunds.

Otaru opened and maintained a series of bank accounts – some in his own name and in the names of various aliases. In order to open bank accounts using false names, Otaru obtained from his co-conspirators false identification documents, usually counterfeit passports and drivers’ licenses, purportedly issued by nations in Africa, such as Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and South Africa. The false passports contained forged and counterfeit United States visas, as false evidence of the bearer’s evidence of authorized stay and employment in the United States.

Periodically, Mr. Otaru received shipments from Africa in which false identification documents were concealed.

In April 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized a package sent to Otaru from Nigeria that was manifested as “local body scrub.” In addition to a container of soap, the package contained four counterfeit passports (purportedly issued by Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) with four corresponding foreign driver’s licenses. All documents displayed Otaru’s picture but bore different names. All documents were fraudulent, and the passports further contained counterfeit United States visas.

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In August 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized a package sent to Otaru from Nigeria that was manifested as “native suite and sandals.” Hidden in the soles of the sandals were four counterfeit passports (purportedly issued by Nigeria, Gambia, South Africa, and Liberia) with four corresponding foreign driver’s licenses. All documents displayed Otaru’s picture, but bore different names. All documents were fraudulent, and the passports further contained counterfeit United States visas.

Otaru also possessed and used a fraudulent Kenyan passport and two fraudulent Nigerian passports.

He kept some of the funds obtained from the schemes for his own use. He transferred some of the funds to co-conspirators in the United States and in other countries. He sometimes laundered proceeds of the various frauds by purchasing vehicles and shipping them overseas to co-conspirators in Africa through his business, Big-O-Motors.

Court documents note that following Otaru’s release from incarceration, it is expected that he will be removed from the United States.

Crime

My wife lied, incest is a taboo in Yorubaland, says man accused of raping his nine and seven-year-old daughters

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“I cannot sleep with my children. The rape could have been from an outsider and not me. I didn’t know about it.” These were the words of 48-year-old Femi Onifade, who stands accused of defiling his nine and seven-year-old daughters.

Onifade, a welder, was arrested by the personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps [NSCDC] in Ondo State after his wife, Tope, filed a complaint that he committed the act at his residence, No 27 Liberty Hospital Road, Oluwatuyi area of Akure.

But when he was paraded at the NSCDC headquarters in Alagbaka, Akure, on Monday, the suspect said it was not possible for him to have carnal knowledge of his children because such was a taboo in Yoruba land.

He suggested the crime might have been committed by an outsider, alleging his wife of 11 years raised a false alarm on him.

Femi said,

“I used to have quarrels with my wife. We had a clash around 11pm on that day and she left the house and because of the curfew in town, I didn’t want her to take the children with her. I insisted that the children must remain with me. My wife left and did not come back.

“I went to her family to report and her family begged me. My wife came back two days later and asked me what happened to the children when she examined their private parts.

“My wife accused me of sleeping with our daughters and I said I could not have done it, because it was a taboo in Yoruba land. I am not happy because I was accused of what I did not do. I went to the palace of the Deji of Akure to take an oath for people to believe me.

“I don’t drink and I don’t smoke. It is a lie. I cannot sleep with my children. The rape could have been from an outsider and not me. I didn’t know about it

“The children were crying because they did not see their mother that night. My children used to cry whenever my wife and I were fighting. It was a neighbour, who told my wife that one of the girls cried till daybreak.”

However, his wife, Tope, who vowed to quit the 11-year-old marriage, said Femi told her that what she noticed in their daughters’ private parts was evidence of dysentery when she raised the alarm over her discovery.

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Tope said the children informed her that their father inserted something in their private parts and also used his mouth.

She stated,

“The day we had a quarrel, my husband did not allow me to sleep in the house. I asked neighbours to beg him on my behalf, but he said I should go. He did not allow me take any of my daughters along. I had to find somewhere to sleep. The next day, a neighbour called me to say one of our daughters cried all through the night.

“The neighbour begged me to come back home. I came back and in the night, I noticed something in one of the children’s private parts. I asked my husband and he told me it was dysentery.

“I woke up the eldest daughter and asked her and she pointed at their father. The children said their father used to put something in their private parts.”

Tope added that tests carried out on the children revealed that both had been deflowered.

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The Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC in the state, Olufemi Omole, said the suspect would soon be charged.

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Crime

26-year-old man rapes neighbour’s teenage daughter in Lagos

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teacher

The Lagos Police Command have arrested a 26-year-old man Benjamin Omade for alleged abduction and defilement of a teenage girl.

The victim (names withheld) was said to be the daughter of his next-door neighbour at Bariga.

It was gathered that Omade allegedly eloped with the underage girl since May 17 with no one knowing their whereabouts.

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He was said to have taken her to 61, Odunsi Street, Bariga where the police tracked him to and arrested him on Sunday evening.

Confirming the incident, police spokesman Bala Elkana said detectives tracked the suspect to the location after the girl’s mother reported her abduction.

He said the woman told the police she strongly believed Omade was responsible for her sudden disappearance.

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Elkana said the teenager was rescued from the location, adding that the suspect confessed to the crime.

Elkana said the case was under investigation

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Crime

Man gives wife money for upkeep after court remands her, boyfriend over their plot to kill him

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The courthouse was filled with mixed emotions when David Gator, whose wife and her boyfriend planned to kill him,  gave the wife money for upkeep and assured her of his undying love for her while she cried herself to prison.

This was after the Asokwa District Court in Kumasi remanded her and the accomplice into police custody for the second time.

Mavis Brepo and Patrick Asare were arrested after an assassin they tried to contract on phone turned out to be the Manhyia Divisional Police Commander.

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The 27-year-old woman popularly called Maadwoa, married to David Gator, 55, planned with her 50-year-old boyfriend, Patrick Asare, to kill her husband so they could settle down together.

The two made their first appearance in court on Friday, May 8, 2020.

Adom News’ Nana Asenso Mensah who was in court reported that Mr Gator who was present with other family members also assured her of his undying love.

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He was seen comforting a crying Mavis who had been linked by cuffs to her alleged lover.

He told her, the money is to help with her upkeep in prison while an investigation continues into the matter.

Meanwhile, the two lovers are expected to appear in count on June 3.

He told her, the money is to help with her upkeep in prison while an investigation continues into the matter.

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Meanwhile, the two lovers are expected to appear in count on June 3.

Under a spell

Since the arrest of his wife, Mr. Gator has maintained her innocence. In earlier news, he said he is convinced his wife was being influenced by a spiritual force.

While appealing for the charges to be dropped against her, the father of three said, he has long forgiven Mavis and is ready to take her back should she be freed.

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