Nigerian businessman declared wanted by EFCC jailed in US

Nigerian businessman, Oluseun Ogunbabo, indicted for a N1 billion fuel subsidy scam by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment in the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, court documents obtained by Peoples Gazette showed.

According to the online newspaper, Federal Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein sentenced Ogunbabo in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York after he was found guilty of aggravated theft and use of false information for U.S. passport application.

The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) issued a warrant of arrest for the businessman on November 27, 2019, after he was indicted for federal violations. Mr Ogunbambo had pleaded guilty before the federal judge. He was jailed on October 27, 2020

According to the documents, the oil marketer had falsified identifying information, including names, social security numbers and dates of birth, to apply for U.S. passports under the names Sean Bambo Benson, Sean Roberto Zacchaeus and Darron Roberto Zacchaeus.

Mr Ogunbabo, committed the offences in the Southern District of New York on June 16, 2016, September 25, 2017, and January 29, 2018, respectively.

He had falsified information to make several renewals of his U.S. passport, initially issued in November 2006 with his true identity at the Worth Post Office in Worth, Illinois.

“The defendant willfully and knowingly made false statements in an application for a passport with the intent to induce and secure the issuance of a passport under the authority of the United States for his own use and the use of another,” said Kevin P. Whelan, the special agent in charge.

“The defendant knowingly did transfer, possess, and use, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person, during and in relation to a felony violation enumerated in Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(c), to wit, Ogunbambo used the personal identification information, including the name, date of birth and Social Security number, of another person in connection with his fraudulent passport applications, as charged in Count One of this Complaint.”

According to the document, he applied for renewal through a courier company on June 6, 2016, using a passport photograph and the information provided at the first issuance, as well as a marriage certificate, to change his name to Darron Roberto Zacchaeus.

On September 25, 2017, Mr Ogunbambo applied for another passport renewal under “Sean Roberto Zacchaeus” using a different social security number. Similarly, another renewal application was made on January 29, 2018, in the name “Sean O’Bambo-Benson.”

The businessman was declared wanted by EFCC in August 2013 for “a case of forgery, use of false documents and fraudulently obtaining the sum of nine hundred and seventy-six million, six hundred and fifty-three thousand, one hundred and ten naira, twenty-eight kobo (976, 653, 110. 28) under the petroleum support fund scheme.”

The Nigerian anti-graft agency declared the businessman and his co-conspirator, Habila Theck, wanted after they failed to appear for his trials at the Lagos State High Court. Mr fled the country.

After the EFCC charged him with fraud, he prayed the court to dismiss the fuel subsidy scam allegations against him on the basis that his right was violated.

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