Folawiyo Rifdhat Tolani
Four Nigerians have been apprehended in the United Kingdom and Sweden for offences bordering on cyber fraud and theft of public money in the United States.
The suspects will be extradited to the US for onward trial.
This disclosure was contained in a press release by the US Department of Justice on Monday.
The statement established that, the four defendants, if found culpable, would risk at least a 20-year jail term each.
The suspects – Akinola Taylor, Olayemi Adafin, Olakunle Oyenbanjo and Kazeem Olanrewaju Runsewe were also were alleged to have involved in identity theft and their crime was transitional in nature.
The statement read, “The United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the unsealing of four indictments charging Akinola Taylor (Nigeria), Olayemi Adafin (United Kingdom), Olakunle Oyebanjo (Nigeria), and Kazeem Olanrewaju Runsewe (Nigeria), with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, filing false claims with the United States, theft of public money or property, and aggravated identity theft.
“Taylor, Adafin, and Runsewe were each arrested on November 30, 2022, and Oyebanjo was arrested on December 1, 2022. Taylor, Adafin, and Oyebanjo were apprehended in London, United Kingdom, and Runswewe was apprehended in Malmo, Sweden. Each will face extradition proceedings. In conjunction with the arrests, foreign authorities conducted searches of the residences of Taylor and Runsewe.”
“If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for the wire fraud count, as well as additional penalties for the remaining counts. The indictments also notify the defendants that the United States intends to forfeit assets which are alleged to be traceable to the proceeds of the offence.
“According to the indictments, Taylor and Runsewe obtained unauthorised access to United States businesses’ computer servers, participated in stealing from those servers the personally identifying information of United States residents and used that information to file false and fraudulent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1040, United States Individual Income Tax Returns (“Form(s) 1040″) seeking income tax refunds with the IRS.”