US Court Jails Nigerian For Fraud, Orders ₦439 Million Restitution

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A US court has sentenced Nigerian, Shalom Olumide Ayotunde to 46 months in jail and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $1,067,000 (N439,113,180).

Ayotunde, 39, was sentenced by US District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III on charges of passport fraud, false claim to US citizenship, wire fraud, and false statement to a financial institution.

He had pleaded guilty to the charges on July 1, 2021. The crimes were committed in the Eastern District of Texas.
In a statement by the US Department of Justice on Thursday, it was revealed that Ayotunde’s crimes were federal criminal offences.

According to court documents, in June 2018, Ayotunde provided false identifying information in his application for a US passport, and in doing so, also falsely claimed to be a US citizen.

Ayotunde was also involved in falsifying information in connection with numerous applications for Payment Protection Program loans, and ultimately received more than $1 million in fraudulent PPP loan proceeds.

Additionally, evidence showed that Ayotunde was part of a conspiracy to defraud companies through business email compromise schemes and acted as a money mule when he knowingly received and transferred proceeds of fraudulent activity.

Evidence showed that Ayotunde received or attempted to receive more than $800,000 in stolen funds.

A federal grand jury had returned an indictment charging Ayotunde with federal violations on November 13, 2020.

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