The United States has extradited a Nigeria citizen, Yusuf Owolabi Abdul ( a.k.a, Saheed Sador) from Germany over bank fraud scheme.
Making the disclosure on Friday, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, said Abdul, who was arrested in Germany on December 11, 2020, on an Interpol Red Notice, is the fifth defendant charged with a fraud of theft and laundering of victim funds between 2013 and April 2019.
Strauss said: “As alleged, Yusuf Owolabi Abdul and his codefendants used a widely available telephone ‘spoofing’ service and other deceitful means to steal and conceal millions of dollars in victim funds. Thanks to the FBI and international cooperation, Abdul is in U.S. custody and facing charges in this District.”
Abdul and other conspirators in the United States, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates were between 2013 and 2018, involved in a scheme to fraudulently access individuals’ and corporations’ bank accounts and conducted financial transactions using the accounts without the knowledge or authority of the accounts’ legitimate owners.
They were alleged to have placed thousands of calls to various United States banks, holding themselves out as legitimate accountholders of particular targeted bank accounts and using the stolen personal identifying information belonging to those accountholders.
Using a particular telephone number “spoofing” service, and voice-altering technology, Abdul and his gang deceived bank representatives into believing that they were actual accountholders.
They were alleged to have convinced “multiple U.S. banks to, among other things: move money from a victim’s savings account to the victim’s checking account (so that the Conspirators could more easily access the funds and conduct unauthorized transactions); falsely note on the account that the accountholder was traveling abroad (making the bank less likely to void suspicious international transactions made by the Conspirators); have “replacement” credit cards mailed to international addresses controlled by the Conspirators (whereupon the Conspirators could use them to make unauthorized purchases); and authorize foreign purchases made by the Conspirators.”
Abdul, 45, a citizen of Nigeria and resident of Canada, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
He is also charged with a conspiracy to commit money laundering, a crime punishable with maximum of 20 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison.
Other defendants charged along Abdul are: “Alade Kazeem Sodiq, a/k/a “Eluku,” a citizen of the United Arab Emirates and Abdulai Kennedy Saaka, a/k/a “Kenny,” of Atlanta, Georgia, who each pled guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and were sentenced to 50 months in prison and 32 months in prison, respectively; Habeeb Audu, a/k/a “Dickson” whose case remains pending; and Dominic Francis Labiran, a citizen of the United Kingdom, who remains at large.”
Abdul, whose case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla, is expected to be presented on Monday, April 12, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang.
Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs of the Department’s Criminal Division provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from Germany.