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03/04/2019

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Nigerian man, former US permanent resident, sentenced in North Dakota to additional 10 years in federal prison for obstruction of justice

Originally sentenced in 2012 to 17 ½ years for massive credit card fraud scheme

FARGO, N.D. — A Nigerian man, extradited to the United States from Canada, was sentenced in federal court Monday to an additional 10 years in federal prison for obstructing investigators looking into a multi-million-dollar credit card fraud scheme involving more than 20 U.S. banks.

This additional sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

U.S. District Court Judge Linda R. Reade sentenced Michael Adefemi Adeyemo, aka Adekunle Olufemi Adetiloye, 47, to serve 10 years in federal prison, which is the statutory maximum for obstruction of justice under federal law. Adeyemo is a citizen of Nigeria who was living in Canada when he was extradited to the United States.

In 2012, Adeyemo also received a 17 ½-year sentence in the District of North Dakota for a multi-million-dollar fraud scheme that he conducted from Canada involving more than 20 U.S. banks. At that time, it was the largest credit card fraud suffered by US Bank and the Discover Card Bank in the history of those institutions.

Years after that sentencing, it was discovered that Adeyemo had taken many steps to conceal information from law enforcement and the court, such as:  his prior status as a U.S. permanent resident, that he was licensed as an attorney in Nigeria, and that he was a fugitive with an outstanding federal warrant in California from 2001 for a similar fraud scheme. Following trial, the trial jury found Adeyemo guilty of concealing this evidence to reduce his earlier sentence.

In sentencing Adeyemo to 10 years’ imprisonment, Judge Reade stated that Adeyemo showed a “callous disregard of the laws of the United States.”

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has been and will always be relentless in the pursuit of facts throughout a criminal investigation,” said Bill Hedrick, inspector in charge of the Denver Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which includes North Dakota. “Postal Inspectors know this and take great pride in their search to find the truth. Through the diligence of our Inspector and others in this case, we were able to bring the defendant to face justice for the full scope of his crimes,” said Hedrick. “We appreciate the dedicated effort of all those involved in this case, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Forensic Lab, and agents from Homeland Security Investigations.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick Chase, District of North Dakota, prosecuted this case.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/07/2019