A Nigerian man Tuesday pleaded guilty in the United States to involvement in $7m bank fraud.
Forty-one-year-old Sulaiman Dosunmu, who lives in Darby, Pennsylvania, admitted before United States District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court, that he played a role in a bank conspiracy that targeted 12 different financial institutions in southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania.
Dosunmu participated in the fraudulent activities between 2016 and 2020, according to the US Department of Justice.
Court documents read: “The defendant was part of a multi-defendant, Nigerian-based criminal organization that engaged in a massive bank fraud conspiracy in several states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Rhode Island, between June 2016 and March 2020.
“Members of the group acquired numerous business checks that were stolen from the United States mail, altered the payee on the checks to a fraudulent name, and deposited the checks into bank accounts that had been opened with forged foreign passport documents and fraudulent U.S. visas that matched the names on the stolen checks.
“Once the banks credited all or a portion of the funds to the accounts, but before the checks had cleared, the defendants withdrew the funds from ATMs or purchased money orders, using debit cards associated with the fraudulent account
“Members of the organization have used over 400 fraudulent accounts opened with fake identity documents to defraud the victim banks. To date, the total loss to the victim banks is approximately $7 million.”
US DOJ added that: “Dosunmu admitted using several false identities to open fraudulent bank accounts, making numerous deposits of stolen checks to these accounts, and withdrawing funds from the accounts.
“Five other conspirators have pleaded guilty and one conspirator was convicted in a trial before Judge Hillman in June 2022. Four of these defendants have pending sentencing hearings before Judge Hillman.
“Charges against five other defendants remain pending before the District Court; the charges and allegations against them are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”
The bank fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1m.
Dosunmu will be sentenced on January 13, 2023.