US court jails Nigerian prince
On Thursday, United States District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle sentenced a Nigerian ‘prince’ to federal prison in the Eastern District of Texas for federal fraud crimes.
US Attorney Brit Featherston of the Eastern District of Texas made the announcement.
“Sobanke Idris Sunday Adereti, 24, pleaded guilty on October 25, 2021, to passport fraud and attempted bank fraud, and was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle,” Featherston said in a press release signed by Aishah Gambari, Senior Public Affairs Specialist at the US Embassy in Abuja.
“According to court documents, Adereti presented a false passport and a falsely procured certified check (cheque) when trying to open a bank account in Flower Mound, Texas in March 2021,” the news release added. The check (cheque) was acquired by a victim of identity theft who was duped into paying money to Adereti, posing as ‘Robinson Elijah.’ He was most likely serving as a money mule for the victim’s checks to be cashed (cheques).
“When Adereti was apprehended, he had additional passports and bank statements in his possession that were in the names of other people.” Adereti was allegedly linked to frauds involving business email compromise and other government programme fraud, according to investigators.
“In addition, evidence showed that Adereti was the son of a Nigerian traditional ruler who entered the US on a visitor’s visa that had since expired in 2018.”
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“Thanks to the keen eye of bank officials, Adereti was apprehended,” US Attorney Brit Featherston said in a statement. Unfortunately, many of these crimes target our elderly community, who are particularly vulnerable. It is up to each of us to spread this information and keep an eye on the next generation.”
On April 7, 2021, a federal grand jury delivered an indictment charging Adereti with federal offences, according to the press release.
“The Diplomatic Security Service for the United States Department of State, the Flower Mound Police Department, the United States Small Business Administration – Office of Inspector General, the United States Secret Service, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas investigated this case,” according to the statement.
It went on to say that anyone over the age of 60 who has been a victim of financial fraud can now breathe a sigh of relief because there is aid on the way.
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“The Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative is involved in this case. If you or someone you know is above the age of 60 and has been a victim of financial fraud, call the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 for assistance (1-833-372-8311). The Office for Victims of Crime manages this hotline, which is staffed by qualified specialists who provide individualised support to callers by analysing the victim’s requirements and recommending appropriate next steps.
“On a case-by-case basis, case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide callers with information to aid in reporting, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals.”
“The first step is to report. Reporting fraud can assist authorities in identifying perpetrators, and reporting financial losses due to fraud as soon as feasible can boost the chances of recouping damages. The hotline is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time. The message went on to say that “English, Spanish, and other languages are available.”
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