Home / AFRICA NEWS / Ghanaians Among Dozens Sentenced For Roles In Fraud, Money Laundering That Stole Over $30m In US

Ghanaians Among Dozens Sentenced For Roles In Fraud, Money Laundering That Stole Over $30m In US

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More than three dozen individuals have been sentenced for their involvement in a large-scale fraud and money laundering operation that targeted individuals, corporations, and financial institutions throughout the United States.

The defendants used business email compromise schemes, romance fraud scams, and retirement account scams, among other frauds, to steal more than $30 million from numerous victims.

“The Department of Justice has tirelessly worked for more than four years to obtain justice for dozens of victims impacted by this brazen criminal organization,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan.

“The defendants’ sentences should serve as a stark warning to others that fraud and money laundering crimes are top priorities for this office and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.”

 

“Several members of this conspiracy fraudulently obtained funds from ERISA-covered employee benefit plans. The funds, which originated from unwitting individuals’ retirement accounts, were deposited into personal and business bank accounts that were created in furtherance of this money-laundering conspiracy.

The greed of the conspirators caused workers and prospective retirees to lose significant portions of their hard-earned retirement funds. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration to protect the integrity of employee benefit plans,” said Mathew Broadhurst, Special Agent-in-Charge, Southeast Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.

 

“These fraud scams, although not violent, are not victimless and can be devastating to businesses and individuals who fall prey to them,” said Keri Fairly, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The sentencing of all these individuals shows the FBI’s dedication to working with our partners to hold anyone accountable who would steal from hard working and honest individuals, rather than put in the work themselves.”

“These scammers defrauded individuals and companies with the sole purpose of enriching themselves,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Travis Pickard, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “HSI and its law enforcement partners will continue to work tirelessly to protect the integrity of the nation’s financial infrastructure and ensure that financial crimes do not go unpunished.”

 

“This sentencing illustrates the Secret Service’s dedication to protecting our nation’s financial systems,” said Steven R. Baisel, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Atlanta Field Office. “We are thankful for our law enforcement partners’ commitment and support as we worked together to bring this case to justice.”

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According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges, and other information presented in court: The defendants engaged in multiple fraud and money laundering conspiracies that stole millions of dollars from victims located throughout the United States and abroad. The defendants were charged across several related pending cases.

 

U.S. District Judge William M. Ray, II, sentenced the following individuals for their respective roles in this criminal scheme:

Joshua Roberts, also known as “Onyx,” 32, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced to eight years and one month in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $9,675,739.73 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on August 10, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on March 29, 2022.

Darius Sowah Okang, also known as “Michael J. Casey,” “Richard Resser,” “Thomas Vaden,” “Michael Lawson,” “Matthew Reddington,” and “Michael Little,” 32, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, was sentenced to seven years and 10 months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $6,204,119 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on March 17, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and aggravated identity theft on September 2, 2021.

 

George Kodjo Edem Adatsi, 39, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to five years and 10 months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $3,373,797.43 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on July 21, 2021, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on April 7, 2021.

Benjamin Ibukunoluwa Oye, 29, of Sandy Springs, Georgia, was sentenced to five years in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,163,127.01 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on March 21, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering on March 4, 2020.

 

Prince Sheriff Okai, 29, of Mableton, Georgia, was sentenced to four years and nine months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $4,950,586.54 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on January 12, 2021, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on October 6, 2020.

Hamza Abdallah, also known as “Reggie Lewis,” 33, of McDonough, Georgia, was sentenced to four years and nine months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $5,051,473.87 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on February 24, 2021, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on November 18, 2020.

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Dominique Raquel Golden, also known as “Desire Tamakloe,” “Mellissa Moore,” “Nicole Nolay,” “Raquel Roberts,” “Maria Henderson,” and “Raquel Golden,” 32, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced to four years and six months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $7,830,607.05 in restitution to victims. She was sentenced on March 28, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on September 30, 2021.

 

 

Kelvin Prince Boateng, 27, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to three years and 10 months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $870,333 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on June 17, 2021, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on March 2, 2021.

Jonathan Kojo Agbemafle, also known as “Skinny,” 29, of Kansas City, Missouri, was sentenced to three years and 10 months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,637,625.01 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on August 8, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on April 4, 2022.

Blessing Oluwatimilehin Ojo, also known as “Timmy,” 37, of Nigeria, was sentenced to three years and 10 months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,711,304 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on October 26, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on July 19, 2022.

 

 

Desire Elorm Tamakloe, also known as “Chubby,” 28, of Smyrna, Georgia, was sentenced to three years and 10 months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,215,357.81 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on April 18, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on October 13, 2022.

Stephen Abbu Jenkins, also known as “Face,” “Steven Abbu Jenkins,” “Steven Jenkins,” and “Steve Jenkins,” 56, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to three years and seven months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $726,290 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on February 22, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on August 8, 2022.

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Obinna Nwosu, 29, of Douglasville, Georgia, was sentenced to three years and one month in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,045,065.75 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on December 16, 2020, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on September 17, 2020.

Ojebe Obewu Ojebe, 30, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to three years and one month in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $893,879.55 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on September 27, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on June 2, 2022.

Francesco Benjamin, also known as “B-More,” 33, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to three years and one month in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $987,070 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on March 1, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on October 19, 2022.

 

 

Chukwukadibia Ikechukwu Nnadozie, also known as “Chuka” and “Michael McCord,” 30, of Fayetteville, Georgia, was sentenced to three years and one month in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $231,507.19 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on May 9, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on November 28, 2022.

Abubakar Sadik Ibrahim, 29, of Mableton, Georgia, was sentenced to three years in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,193,750.27 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on February 1, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on September 27, 2021.

John Ifeoluwa Onimole, 31, of Powder Springs, Georgia, was sentenced to three years in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,117,966.06 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on April 25, 2023, after pleading guilty to money laundering on December 7, 2022.

 

 

Chadrick Jamal Rhodes, 31, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to two years and 11 months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on January 31, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft on October 12, 2021.

Chadwick Osbourne Stewart, 43, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to two years and eight months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $60,000 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on January 26, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft on October 22, 2021.

Macario Lee Nelson, a/k/a “Mac,” 27, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to two years and eight months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on February 17, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft on September 29, 2021.

Afeez Olaide Adeniran, a/k/a “Ola,” 34, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to two years and six months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $352,830.25 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on October 6, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on August 18, 2022.

 

 

Kahlia Andrea Siddiqui, 31, of Chamblee, Georgia, was sentenced to two years and six months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $325,811 in restitution to victims. She was sentenced on February 22, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on August 9, 2022.

Solomon Agyapong, also known as “Gumpe,” 34, of Marietta, Georgia, was sentenced to two years and six months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $496,123.92 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on April 18, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on October 11, 2022.

Christopher Akinwande Awonuga, 31, of Fayetteville, Georgia, was sentenced to two years and three months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $113,276.27 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on January 8, 2020, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud on August 22, 2019.

 

 

Emanuela Joe Joseph, 37, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, was sentenced to two years and three months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $442,557.08 in restitution to victims. She was sentenced on February 21, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on October 26, 2022.

Seth Appiah Kubi, 63, of Dacula, Georgia, was sentenced to two years in custody, to be followed by one year of supervised release. He was sentenced on July 7, 2020, after pleading guilty to aggravated identity theft on March 4, 2020.

Oluwafunmilade Onamuti, also known as “Mathew Kelvin,” 29, of Duluth, Georgia, was sentenced to one year and 10 months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $167,195 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on July 21, 2021, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on April 7, 2021.

 

 

Paul Chinonso Anyanwu, 31, of Hampton, Georgia, was sentenced to one year and six months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $57,000 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on December 19, 2019, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on September 18, 2019.

Casey Broderick Williams, 29, of Covington, Georgia, was sentenced to one year and one day in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $60,000 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on June 2, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft on July 30, 2019.

Alexus Ciera Johnson, 29, of Mableton, Georgia, was sentenced to one year and one day in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $106,879 in restitution to victims. She was sentenced on May 22, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on October 11, 2022.

 

 

Egale Veonzell Woods, Jr., 44, of East Point, Georgia, was sentenced to one year in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $165,007.19 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on April 21, 2021, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on March 4, 2020.

Gregory Thomas Hudson, 42, of Powder Springs, Georgia, was sentenced to 10 months in custody, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $125,291.45 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on June 27, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud on March 14, 2022.

Uchechi Chidimma Odus, also known as “Uche,” 26, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to 10 months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $83,345.47 in restitution to victims. She was sentenced on May 17, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on December 21, 2022.

 

 

Matthan Bolaji Ibidapo, also known as “B.J.,” 30, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was sentenced to eight months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release with a portion to be served in home confinement and ordered to pay $82,490.50 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on February 21, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on November 1, 2022.

Tyler Keon Roussell, 28, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to six months in custody, to be followed by six years of supervised release with a portion served in home confinement, and ordered to pay $368,400.49 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on February 21, 2022, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud on May 16, 2019.

Monique Wheeler, 32, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to three months in custody, to be followed by three years of supervised release with a portion to be served in home confinement, and ordered to pay $71,010 in restitution to victims. She was sentenced on December 2, 2022, after pleading guilty to money laundering on July 13, 2022.

 

 

Chineda Obilom Nwakudu, 28, of McDonough, Georgia, was sentenced to three years of probation with a portion to be served in home confinement and ordered to pay $123,645.85 in restitution to victims. He was sentenced on February 22, 2023, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on August 23, 2019.

Ahamefule Aso Odus, 30, of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted by a jury on January 30, 2023, of conspiracy to commit money laundering and multiple substantive money laundering offenses. His sentencing is pending.

Motswana Mulongo, also known as “David Mulongo” and “Henry Tipton,” 38, of Decatur, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering on March 10, 2023. His sentencing is scheduled for June 22, 2023.

 

 

Oumar Bouyo Mbodj of Kennesaw, Georgia, is deceased, and charges filed against him were dismissed.

This investigation was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program—the keystone drug, money laundering, and transnational organized crime enforcement program of the Department of Justice.

This case was investigated by the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The investigating agencies received considerable support from the Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, and numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities.

 

 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly K. Connors and Russell Phillips prosecuted the case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Source:  www.justice.gov

 

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