U.S. Attorney Announces Extradition Of Canadian Citizen, Saheed Sador For His Role In An International Fraud And Money Laundering Network
Canada-Based Yusuf Abdul and Others in the United States, Europe, and Middle East Conspired to Use Phone “Spoofing Service” to Fraudulently Access and Launder Victims’ Funds
(STL.News) Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that YUSUF OWOLABI ABDUL, a/k/a “Saheed Sador,” a citizen of Nigeria and a resident of Canada, was extradited today from Germany. ABDUL was charged with participation in a fraud scheme from at least in or about 2013 until at least April 2019 involving the theft and laundering of victim funds. ABDUL was arrested in Germany on December 11, 2020, on an Interpol Red Notice, and is the fifth defendant charged in this case. ABDUL is expected to be presented on Monday, April 12, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang. ABDUL’s case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, Yusuf Owolabi Abdul and his codefendants used a widely available telephone ‘spoofing’ service and other deceitful means to steal and conceal millions of dollars in victim funds. Thanks to the FBI and international cooperation, Abdul is in U.S. custody and facing charges in this District.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment:
From at least 2013 through in or about 2018, ABDUL and various other conspirators, located in countries including the United States, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates (collectively, the “Conspirators”), were involved in a scheme to fraudulently access individuals’ and corporations’ bank accounts and to conduct financial transactions using those bank accounts without the knowledge or authority of the accounts’ legitimate owners (the “Bank Scheme”).
As part of the Bank Scheme, the Conspirators placed thousands of calls to various United States banks, holding themselves out as legitimate accountholders of particular targeted bank accounts and using the stolen personal identifying information belonging to those accountholders. Using a particular telephone number “spoofing” service, and voice-altering technology, the Conspirators would deceive bank representatives into believing that the Conspirators were actual accountholders.
In so doing, they convinced multiple U.S. banks to, among other things: move money from a victim’s savings account to the victim’s checking account (so that the Conspirators could more easily access the funds and conduct unauthorized transactions); falsely note on the account that the accountholder was traveling abroad (making the bank less likely to void suspicious international transactions made by the Conspirators); have “replacement” credit cards mailed to international addresses controlled by the Conspirators (whereupon the Conspirators could use them to make unauthorized purchases); and authorize foreign purchases made by the Conspirators.
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ABDUL, 45, a citizen of Nigeria and resident of Canada, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, to be served consecutively to the other charges. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Other defendants charged in this case include Alade Kazeem Sodiq, a/k/a “Eluku,” a citizen of the United Arab Emirates and Abdulai Kennedy Saaka, a/k/a “Kenny,” of Atlanta, Georgia, who each pled guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and were sentenced to 50 months in prison and 32 months in prison, respectively; Habeeb Audu, a/k/a “Dickson” whose case remains pending; and Dominic Francis Labiran, a citizen of the United Kingdom, who remains at large.
Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs of the Department’s Criminal Division provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from Germany.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Kiersten A. Fletcher, Jonathan E. Rebold, and Andrew A. Rohrbach are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges against ABDUL, Audu, and Labiran contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.