A Nigerian national, Olumide Bankole Morakinyo was on Wednesday sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to repay $975,863.
According to the court, the money, equivalent to N400 million repayment, is in restitution to multiple victims of his conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Morakinyo, 38, residing in Canada, according to court documents conspired with Lukman Shina Aminu, a resident of New Hampshire, to create unauthorized accounts for participants in the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) internet portal.
Aminu had been charged in a separate indictment and was sentenced on December 18, 2019, to 51 months in prison.
The document further revealed that the duo used Personally identifiable information (PII) of various ERS participants to make changes to their accounts in the ERS internet portal.
Bank deposit information on file in the system was changed to re-route retirement payments to debit cards controlled by Aminu.
Aminu, who possessed the physical debit cards, would withdraw money under instructions from his co-conspirator, Morakinyo and then transfer or deposit that money at Morakinyo’s direction.
The duo used the debit cards for cash withdrawals and to purchase money orders for personal expenses and for buying used vehicles to be shipped overseas to Nigeria and Benin for resale.
The court document further revealed that the duo, with these international automobile transactions, Morakinyo and his conspirators laundered the fraud proceeds by concealing the source of the funds and making the money appear to be legitimate income.
U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman while ruling also ordered that Morakinyo be placed on three years of supervised release after completing his prison term.