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US court sentences Nigerian man to 46 months in prison for federal fraud violations, to refund of $1,067,000

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A Nigerian man has been sentenced to federal prison for fraud violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

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Shalom Olumide Ayotunde, 39, who pleaded guilty on July 1, 2021, to passport fraud, false claim to U.S. citizenship, wire fraud, and false statement to a financial institution, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison on Thursday, January 6, 2022, by U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III.

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Ayotunde was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,067,000, U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston announced in a release by the Justice Department.

According to court documents, in June 2018, Ayotunde provided false identifying information in his application for a U.S. passport, and in doing so, also falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen.

Ayotunde was also involved in falsifying information in connection with numerous applications for Payment Protection Program loans, and ultimately received more than $1 million in fraudulent PPP loan proceeds.

Additionally, evidence showed that Ayotunde was part of a conspiracy to defraud companies through business email compromise schemes and acted as a money mule when he knowingly received and transferred proceeds of fraudulent activity.

Evidence showed that Ayotunde received or attempted to receive more than $800,000 in stolen funds.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Ayotunde with federal violations on Nov. 13, 2020.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of State- Diplomatic Security Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Camelia Lopez.

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