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Bank Fraud; Wire Fraud; Conspiracy

Harrison Amadin Ekpetin is wanted for his alleged involvement in several incidents of Home Equity Line of Credit fraud originating in the continental United States, often in New Mexico, from 2009 to 2011. It is alleged that Ekpetin illegally gained access to bank accounts and successfully executed a series of fraudulent transactions resulting in funds being wired to banks overseas. The fraudulent activities allegedly resulted in more than $4 million in losses to financial institutions in New Mexico, Virginia, New York, and elsewhere in the United States. On April 27, 2011, a federal warrant was issued for Ekpetin's arrest by the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, after he was charged federally with bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.

Ekpetin has ties to Brooklyn and the Bronx, New York; Locust Grove, Georgia; and Nigeria and Ghana

There used to be a Fred Ajudua in Nigeria in the 90s that was notoriously linked with a variety of advance fee fraud cases.

Another person with the same surname has emerged in the United States, also linked with multi-million dollar fraud.

His name is Charles Ajudua.

He is among the seven Nigerians wanted in New Mexico, to face trial over multi-million dollar frauds perpetrated against credit unions in New Mexico, Virginia and New York.

Ajudua was arrested in Georgia and flown to Albuquersque in New Mexico to face justice. His six accomplices are still at large.

He appeared before Chief U.S Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen on Friday and has been remanded in custody, the abqjournal.com has reported.

Ajudua’s major accomplice, Harrison Amadin Ekpetin, a Nigerian and legal resident in the US is on the FBI’s ‘most wanted list’ and has been on the run since the 10 July indictment against him in the US district court in New Mexico. Others are Imiete Roberts and Christopher Tochukwu Ofoeze.

abqjournal.com reported that among the institutions defrauded are New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union and Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union.

“the vehicles for the frauds was home equity lines of credit, according to the description in the 14 page indictment. It alleges that the defendants obtained lists of individuals with names and addresses using legitimate commercial sources, but went further by gaining access illegally to proprietary databases to get personal information, including dates of birth and customer social security numbers.

“The defendants called the institutions posing as the legitimate holder of the line of credit and provided identification information to gain control over the accounts of legitimate customers. The callers, impersonating a customer, asked for money to be wired to an overseas bank account”, www.abqjournal.com reported.

According to the charges, a customer identified as S.H with a line credit of $300,000 was among the 14 names obtained in November 2009 and sent to Ekpetin. Defendant Imiete Roberts, working with Ajudua, queried the customer’s name on the proprietary database in January 2010 and was able to send the person’s full credit report to Ekpetin, who lived primarily in Brooklyn New York. Ekepetin then called the credit union’s automated helpline and changed the phone number associated with the account to his phone. Using the wire transfer code he obtained, Ekpetin was able to transfer $210,000 from S.H’s account to a Nigerian accomplice with a bank account in Tokyo.

Tochukwu Ofoeze then allegedly stripped Ekpetin’s name off the e-mail message and forwarded bank transfer information to another colleague to alert him that the bank account would receive the deposit. The colleague sent emails describing details of other bank accounts to be used for future fraudulent transfers.

According to the report, the fraud against Sandia Laboratory worked in a similar way.

From Sandia, $172,000 was transferred from J.C. account to a bank in Nagasaki, Japan.

The Nigerians also allegedly stole $182,000 from another person’s account at U.S Alliance Federal Credit Union. The money was transferred to an account in Bank of China. Also another $310,000 was transferred from Truwst Credit Union, based in Arizona and Texas, to a bank account in Japan.

The ABQJournal Online said that although the indictment seeks forfeiture of at least $874,000, the FBI notice says Ekpetin is wanted in connection with fraudulent activities that allegedly resulted in more than $4million losses to financial institutions in New Mexico, Virginia, New York and elsewhere.

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