HomeFraudUS Court Jails Nigerian Over N307m Fraud

US Court Jails Nigerian Over N307m Fraud

A United States Federal Court has jailed a 39-year-old Nigerian, Okiemute Dotie, for his role in a stolen identity tax fraud scheme.

The Nigerian was sentenced to a year and a half in prison for the crime.

The convict and one of his Nigeria-based friends, identified as Chieloka Okekearu orchestrated and carried out a fraudulent romance scheme worth close to N307 million.

It was learnt that Okekearu, in June 2014, via a dating site known as Match.com, started an online relationship with an unnamed Oregon-based lady.

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The Nigerian was said to have posed as ‘Terry Robinson’, a white man in his 60s who was living outside the United States.

Terry Robinsin was created as a struggling character attempting to pay off debts so he could return to the state of Oregon.

Subsequently, the Oregon resident agreed to make several financial transactions through the bank accounts she opened to enable ‘Terry Robinson’ pay off his debts and return to the US.

While this was ongoing, Okereaku submitted at least three false federal income tax returns to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) between February 2015 and April 2015, requesting refunds totalling $264,349, an equivalent of close to N307 million.

When the IRS made the refund for the fraudulent returns, Okekearu ensured that the funds were electronically deposited into the accounts that were opened by his online lover.

The funds were then later transferred into Dotie’s account, who in turn made sure the money got to Okereaku.

Dotie was arrested in Brussels, Belgium, on October 18, 2022, by the Interpol as he attempted to board a train to London. He spent five and a half months in custody in Belgium before he was eventually extradited to Oregon.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the US government in September. Okekearu, who is believed to be living in Nigeria, is yet to be arrested.


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