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Professional Responsibility
05/17/2010

2 men charged for impersonating U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in 'advance fee' fraud scheme

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Saleumsak Khammungkhune, 57, of San Diego, and David Johnson, a/k/a Ukoha Eke, 39, a Nigerian national residing in Upper Marlboro, Md., were arrested and charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to impersonate U.S. officers and with wire fraud, following an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

ICE special agents arrested Johnson in Greenbelt, Md., on May 13, and Khammungkhune on May 15. On May 17, Khammungkhune appeared in federal court in West Palm Beach and a bond hearing is set for May 24. Johnson appeared in federal court in Greenbelt on May 14 and was ordered detained pending trial.

According to court documents, the defendants posed as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and contacted victims through the Internet. The defendants told the victims that $10 million had arrived for them from Nigeria, but that they had to pay U.S. Customs duties and fees to obtain the money. Through this "advance fee" scheme, the defendants defrauded two victims out of approximately $300,000.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry S. Baron.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.