SHERMAN, TX — On March 30, U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston announced that a Nigerian man had been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison for federal fraud crimes in the Eastern District of Texas.
On October 25, 2021, Sobanke Idris Sunday Adereti, 24, pled guilty to passport fraud and attempted bank fraud. U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle sentenced him to 33 months in federal prison.
According to court filings, Adereti attempted to create a bank account in Flower Mound in March 2021 using a forged passport and a forged certified check. The check was written by a scam victim whom Adereti had persuaded to wire him money under the identity “Robinson Elijah.” According to investigators, Adereti was most likely operating as a money mule, cashing the victims’ checks.
Adereti was detained with various passports and bank statements in other people’s names in his possession when he was apprehended. Investigators discovered he was involved in additional scams involving commercial email phishing schemes and government programme fraud.
Adereti, the son of a Nigerian traditional ruler, was also in the United States on a visitor’s visa that had expired after entering in 2018.
“There are money-laundering scams around every corner,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “Adereti was captured thanks to the careful eye of bank staff.” Unfortunately, many of these crimes target our elderly community, who are particularly vulnerable. It is up to all of us to spread this consciousness and watch out for the next generation.”
On April 7, 2021, a federal grand jury indicted Adereti.
This lawsuit is part of the Justice Department’s Elder Justice Initiative. If you or someone you know is 60 or older and has been the victim of financial fraud, call the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). Reporting can assist authorities in identifying people who commit fraud, and reporting specific financial losses due to fraud as quickly as feasible can boost the likelihood of recovery. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. There are options for English, Spanish, and other languages.
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 the case.