SHERMAN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A Nigerian man was sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison for federal fraud violations in the Eastern District of Texas, U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston announced on March 30.
Sobanke Idris Sunday Adereti, 24, pleaded guilty on Oct. 25, 2021 to passport fraud and attempted bank fraud. He was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle.
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According to court documents, Adereti presented a false passport and falsely procured certified check when trying to open a bank account in Flower Mound in March 2021. The check came from a fraud victim who Adereti, using the alias “Robinson Elijah,” had convinced to send him money. Investigators believe Adereti was likely acting as a money mule to cash the victims’ checks.
When he was arrested, Adereti had multiple passports and bank statements in other peoples’ names in his possession. Investigators determined that he was connected to other scams related to business email phishing schemes and government program fraud.
Adereti, who is the son of a Nigerian traditional ruler, was also in the United States on an expired visitor’s visa after entering in 2018.
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“Scams to steal money are around every corner,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “Thanks to the keen eye of bank officials, Adereti was apprehended. Unfortunately, many of these crimes target our vulnerable elder population. It is up to all of us to share this awareness and look out for our greatest generation.”
Adereti was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 7, 2021.
This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative. If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is standing by at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. The hotline is staffed 9am-5pm Central Time, Monday through Friday. English, Spanish, and other languages are available.
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This case was investigated by the Diplomatic Security Service for the U.S. Department of State, the Flower Mound Police Department, the U.S. Small Business Administration – Office of Inspector General, the United States Secret Service, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.