US Federal agents seized a jet Tuesday from a Nigerian charged in an international fraud scheme and who appeared in court in Atlanta on Tuesday.
The jet was parked at Peachtree DeKalb Airport, a county-owned, public-use airport in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States, as the federal agents processed the plane for evidence.
A removal hearing will also be held to send the Nigerian back to New York, where the charges he faces were originally filed
The owner of the plane has not been identified yet. But it appears the plane was seized when it was offered for sale.
According to a report by wsbtv.com, investigative reporter, Aaron Diamant, who witnessed the seizure, watched as Federal agents collected evidence from the plane. A K-9 team also swept the plane for drugs and other contraband.
Agents won’t say specifically how they connected the plane to the Nigerian now facing fraud charges.
“When we see a certain type of aircraft get sold, it raises our suspicions,” Whitmore said.
In New York, some Nigerians Oladayo Oladokun, Farouk Kukoyi, Baldwin Osuji and Henry Ogbuokiri, are facing trial along with JOSHUA HICKS, ANTHONY LEE NELSON, DERRICK BANKS, IBRAHIIMA DOUKOURE, JAMAR SKEETE, PAUL YAW OSEI JR., KOWAN POOLE, DARREL WILLIAMS, DARYL BARTLEY, GARNET STEVEN MURRAY-SESAY, a/k/a “Steven Garnet Murray-Sesay,” and ANDREW HEAVEN.
They were docked on Tuesday for participating in an $18 million fraud scheme consisting of three key phases.
First, members of the conspiracy opened more than 60 business bank accounts using the real personal identifying information, including names and social security numbers, of identity theft victims.
Second, members of the conspiracy deposited money into these bank accounts that they obtained by defrauding victims. Third, members of the conspiracy accessed the fraud proceeds by transferring the proceeds into other bank accounts or by withdrawing cash.
Members of the conspiracy typically defrauded their victims in one of two ways. In some instances, members of the conspiracy deposited stolen or forged checks. For example, members of the conspiracy obtained three checks that had been mailed by a national sports league from New York, New York, and deposited those stolen checks into bank accounts that were opened in the names of the intended recipients.
In other instances, members of the conspiracy deceived victims into making electronic transfers. For example, a member of the conspiracy posing as a victim’s financial adviser caused the victim to wire money from a bank branch in New York, New York, to a bank account controlled by members of the conspiracy.
To date, law enforcement has identified more than 100 fraudulent transactions in furtherance of the scheme, totalling more than $18 million.
All defendants – OLADOKUN, 46, KUKOYI, 33, OSUJI, 31, OGBUOKIRI, 32, HICKS, 24, NELSON, 28, BANKS, 27, DOUKOURE, 61, SKEETE, 36, OSEI, 32, POOLE, 29, WILLIAMS, 62, BARTLEY, 58, MURRAY-SESAY, 35, and HEAVEN, 49 – are charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Seven defendants – OGBUOKIRI, HICKS, BANKS, POOLE, WILLIAMS, BARTLEY, and MURRAY-SESAY – are also charged with aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in prison.
It was not clear, whether the Nigerian that was arraigned in Atlanta on Tuesday, is part of the people accused in the $18m fraud.