Read The 69-Page Document That Indicted DCP Abba Kyari In The “Hushpuppy’s” Fraud Case In The US

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AUSAs: Anil J. Antony, x6579 REC: Detention
AO 91 (Rev. 11/11) Criminal Complaint (Rev. by USAO on 3/12/20) ܆ Original ܆ Duplicate Original
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
for the
Central District of California
United States of America
v.
RAMON OLORUNWA ABBAS,
aka “Ray Hushpuppi,”
aka “Hush,”
aka “Malik,”
ABDULRAHMAN IMRAAN JUMA,
aka “Abdul,”
aka “Rahman,”
VINCENT KELLY CHIBUZO,
aka “Kelly,”
ABBA ALHAJI KYARI,
RUKAYAT MOTUNRAYA FASHOLA,
aka “Morayo,”
BOLATITO TAWAKALITU AGBABIAKA,
aka “Bolamide,”
Defendants
Case No.
CRIMINAL COMPLAINT BY TELEPHONE
OR OTHER RELIABLE ELECTRONIC MEANS
I, the complainant in this case, state that the following is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Beginning no later than November 12, 2019 and continuing through at least April 26, 2020, in the county of Los
///
///
///
2:21-mj-00760-DUTY
LODGED
CLERK, U.S. DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
BY: ____________BB______ DEPUTY
2/12/2021
JB
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 1 of 69 Page ID #:1
AUSAs: Anil J. Antony, x6579 REC: Detention
Angeles, in the Central District of California, and elsewhere, the defendants conspired to defraud, and launder
proceeds obtained from, a victim, in violation of:
Code Section Offense Description
18 U.S.C. § 1349
18 U.S.C. § 1956(h)
Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud
Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering
This criminal complaint is based on these facts:
Please see attached affidavit.
_ Continued on the attached sheet.
Complainant’s signature
Andrew John Innocenti, Special Agent, FBI
Printed name and title
Attested to by the applicant in accordance with the requirements of Fed. R. Crim. P. 4.1 by telephone.
Date: February 12, 2021
Judge’s signature

City and state: Los Angeles, California Hon. Patricia Donahue, U.S. Magistrate Judge
Printed name and title
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 2 of 69 Page ID #:2
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Table of Contents
I. INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………………………….. 1
II. SUMMARY OF PROBABLE CAUSE ……………………………………….. 2
III. STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE …………………………………….. 6
A. Identification of Defendants ………………………………………………. 6
1. Identification of JUMA ……………………………………………. 7
2. Identification of KYARI ………………………………………… 11
3. Identification of CHIBUZO ……………………………………. 15
4. Identification of FASHOLA …………………………………… 17
5. Identification of AGBABIAKA ………………………………. 19
B. Scheme to Defraud the Victim Businessperson and the Qatari Victim Company ……………………………………………………………. 21
1. Initiation of Fraud Scheme and Initial Fraudulent
Payments of $314,442.78 to JUMA …………………………. 22
2. JUMA, ABBAS, CHIBUZO, and Others Defrauded the
Victim Businessperson of $330,000, and ABBAS Used the Funds to Purchase a Luxury Richard Mille Watch and St. Kitts Citizenship ………………………………………………. 23
3. JUMA, ABBAS, CHIBUZO, and Others Conspired to Defraud the Victim Businessperson of $299,983.58 ….. 44
4. After Consulting with JUMA, ABBAS Arranged to Have KYARI Imprison CHIBUZO in Nigeria in Retaliation for, and to Prevent Him from, Trying to Coopt the Victim
Businessperson ……………………………………………………… 51
5. ABBAS Defrauded the Victim Businessperson of an Additional $180,000 ……………………………………………… 57
IV. CONCLUSION ……………………………………………………………………….. 64
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 3 of 69 Page ID #:3
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AFFIDAVIT
I, ANDREW JOHN INNOCENTI, being duly sworn, declare and state as follows:
I. INTRODUCTION
1. I am a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(“FBI”), and have been so employed since approximately March 2015. I am
currently assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office, High-Tech Organized Crime
Squad, where I primarily investigate cyber-enabled fraud and business email
compromise (“BEC”) schemes. Between approximately August 2015 and
December 2018, I was assigned to a cyber-crime squad in the Chicago Field
Office, where I investigated cyber-related crimes, including BEC cases. During
my career as an FBI Special Agent, I have participated in numerous computercrime investigations. In addition, I have received both formal and informal
training from the FBI and other institutions regarding computer-related
investigations, computer technology, and white-collar fraud.
2. This affidavit is made in support of a criminal complaint against, and
arrest warrants for, RAMON OLORUNWA ABBAS, also known as (“aka”) “Ray
Hushpuppi,” aka “Hush,” aka “Malik” (“ABBAS”), and the following persons who
conspired with ABBAS and each other to fraudulently obtain and launder at least
$1,124,426.36 from a victim:
a. ABDULRAHMAN IMRAAN JUMA, aka “Abdul,” aka
“Rahman” (“JUMA”), of Kenya;
b. VINCENT KELLY CHIBUZO, aka “Kelly” (“CHIBUZO”), of
Nigeria;
c. ABBA ALHAJI KYARI (“KYARI”), a Deputy Commissioner
of the Nigeria Police Force;
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 4 of 69 Page ID #:4
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d. RUKAYAT MOTUNRAYA FASHOLA, aka “Morayo”
(“FASHOLA”), of New York State; and
e. BOLATITO TAWAKALITU AGBABIAKA, aka “Bolamide”
(“AGBABIAKA”), of New York State (collectively, with ABBAS, the
“Defendants”).
3. The criminal complaint charges the Defendants with violations of 18
U.S.C. § 1349 (Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud) and 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h)
(Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering).
4. The facts set forth in this affidavit are based upon my personal
involvement in this investigation, my review of reports and other documents
related to this investigation, my training and experience, and information obtained
from other agents, law enforcement officers and employees, and witnesses. This
affidavit is intended to show merely that there is sufficient probable cause for the
requested complaint and arrest warrant, and does not purport to set forth all of my
knowledge of the government’s investigation into this matter. Unless specifically
indicated otherwise, all conversations and statements described in this affidavit are
related in substance and in part only. Unless specifically indicated otherwise, all
dates set forth below are “on or about” the dates indicated, and all amounts or sums
are approximate.
II. SUMMARY OF PROBABLE CAUSE
5. ABBAS is a Nigerian national who previously resided in the United
Arab Emirates (the “U.A.E.”). ABBAS’ social media accounts—on which he was
known by the moniker “Ray Hushpuppi” or variations of that name—frequently
showed him in designer clothes, wearing expensive watches, and posing in or with
luxury cars and charter jets. Online articles in Nigeria suggested for several years
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 5 of 69 Page ID #:5
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that ABBAS was involved in fraud,1
and, in fact, multiple articles identified him as
one of the most prolific Nigerian-origin fraudsters in the world.2
The FBI’s
investigation confirmed that ABBAS’ opulent lifestyle was financed through
crime, and that he was one of the leaders of a transnational network committing
computer crime and fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes),3
and money
laundering from those offenses, targeting victims around the world. ABBAS was
charged by Complaint and then Information, in Case. No. 2:20-CR-00322-ODW,
for conspiring in a cyber-heist from a bank in Malta and several BEC schemes, and
money laundering relating to those schemes.
6. In addition to that charged conduct, messages obtained from ABBAS’
phone and online accounts pursuant to federal search warrants, combined with
bank records, other records, and information from victims, indicate that ABBAS
and the other Defendants participated in a scheme to defraud a person (the “Victim
Businessperson”) who was seeking a lender to invest $15 million in a project to
1
See, e.g., TechCity, The Unmasking of Hushpuppi and Why We All Should Be Worried, July 31, 2017, https://www.techcityng.com/unmasking- hushpuppi-worried/ (last visited Feb. 11, 2021); Legit.ng, What Does Hushpuppi Do for a Living?, Dec. 5, 2018, https://www.legit.ng/1207409-what-hushpuppi-a- living.html (last visited Feb. 11, 2021)
2
See, e.g., WithinNigeria.com, The Richest Yahoo Boy in Nigeria 2019, Feb. 17, 2019, https://www.withinnigeria.com/2019/02/17/who-is-the-richestyahoo-boy-in-lagos-2019/ (last visited Feb. 11, 2021); Top 10 Richest Yahoo Boys in Nigeria, Jist Nigeria, August 29, 2019, https://jistnaija.com/top-10-richest- yahoo-boys-in-nigeria/ (last visited Feb. 11, 2021).
3
BEC fraud schemes often involve a computer hacker gaining unauthorized access to a business-email account, blocking or redirecting communications to and/or from that email account, and then using the compromised email account or
a separate fraudulent email account (sometimes called a “spoofed” email account) to communicate with personnel from a victim company and to attempt to trick them into making an unauthorized wire transfer. The fraudster will direct the
unsuspecting personnel of the victim company to wire funds to the bank account of a third party (sometimes referred to as a “money mule”), which is often a bank account owned, controlled, and/or used by individuals involved in the scheme based in the United States. The money may then be laundered by wiring or transferring it through numerous bank accounts to launder the money, or by quickly withdrawing it as cash, by check, or by cashier’s check.
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 6 of 69 Page ID #:6
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build an international school in Qatar (the “Qatari Victim Company”). The scheme
defrauded the Victim Businessperson of more than $1.1 million.
7. JUMA and ABBAS interacted directly with the Victim
Businessperson; JUMA claimed to own a company in Kenya that would provide
the loan, while ABBAS pretended to be “Malik,” a banker at Wells Fargo in the
United States, who was purportedly facilitating the loan payment. CHIBUZO was
involved in creating a fraudulent website and automated phone line that would
convince the Victim Businessperson that the $15 million loan had been secured. In
the course of the scheme, the Victim Businessperson made multiple payments
purportedly for taxes and other fees, which JUMA and ABBAS told the Victim
Businessperson were necessary to secure the loan.
8. At the time ABBAS joined the conspiracy, JUMA had already
defrauded the Victim Businessperson of approximately $314,442.78 in early
December 2019. After ABBAS joined the conspiracy that month, JUMA and
ABBAS received and laundered additional funds in a variety of ways with the
assistance of other coconspirators. AGBABIAKA and FASHOLA were among the
coconspirators who assisted ABBAS in receiving and laundering funds.
9. Among those payments, ABBAS convinced the Victim
Businessperson to make wire transfers of $230,000 to a Wells Fargo bank account
of a luxury watch-seller and $100,000 to a Capital One bank account of
AGBABIAKA in late December 2019.
a. ABBAS used the wire transfer of $230,000 to purchase a luxury
Richard Mille RM11-03 watch. ABBAS arranged for the watch seller in Florida
(the “Florida Watch Seller”) to ship the watch to the New York metropolitan area,
where AGBABIAKA and FASHOLA picked it up and ultimately delivered it to a
coconspirator, who was a relative of FASHOLA. ABBAS then directed that
person to transport the watch on a flight from John F. Kennedy International
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 7 of 69 Page ID #:7
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Airport (“JFK”) in New York to the U.A.E., where that person hand-delivered the
watch to ABBAS on about January 4, 2020. ABBAS posted a photograph of
himself on Instagram wearing the watch, with the hashtag “#Rm1103,” on January
13, 2020.
b. As to the $100,000 wire transfer to AGBABIAKA, ABBAS
directed AGBABIAKA to withdraw the funds and convert a portion of them—
minus $8,000 for AGBABIAKA, which was her cut—to Nigerian Naira, the
currency of Nigeria, which she then provided to coconspirators who would deliver
the funds to ABBAS. AGBABIAKA also laundered funds at ABBAS’ request by
sending cashier’s checks totaling $50,000 to a coconspirator who would use the
funds to fraudulently obtain St. Christopher and Nevis (“St. Kitts”) citizenship and
a passport for ABBAS. ABBAS received the passport in February 2020.
10. Between approximately January 8, 2020 and February 4, 2020, JUMA
and ABBAS each corresponded with the Victim Businessperson, attempting to
fraudulently induce the Victim Businessperson to pay $575,000 in purported
“taxes” to release the $15 million loan that the Victim Businessperson was
expecting. Between February 5 and 7, 2020, the Victim Businessperson wire
transferred $299,983.58 to bank accounts under JUMA’s control.
11. CHIBUZO’s messages to ABBAS during that time show that he was
unhappy with the amount that, and/or speed with which, ABBAS was paying him,
so he contacted the Victim Businessperson directly. CHIBUZO told the Victim
Businessperson that JUMA and ABBAS were “fake,” in an attempt to convince the
Victim Businessperson to stop making fraudulent payments to ABBAS and JUMA,
and to make fraudulent payments to him instead. When JUMA and ABBAS
learned of CHIBUZO’s interference, ABBAS arranged to have KYARI—a highly
decorated Deputy Commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force—arrest CHIBUZO
for interfering with the fraud scheme. ABBAS specifically told KYARI that
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 8 of 69 Page ID #:8
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CHIBUZO contacted “the job” behind ABBAS’ back to “divert the job for
himself.” ABBAS asked KYARI to have the police administer the “serious
beating of his life” and arranged with KYARI to pay to keep CHIBUZO
imprisoned for at least a month, so that the fraud scheme could be successfully
executed, and the money could be obtained. After KYARI arrested CHIBUZO, he
sent ABBAS photographs of CHIBUZO in custody and later told ABBAS that he
would not allow CHIBUZO’s girlfriend to pay money to get CHIBUZO out of
custody as he would have done for a “normal arrest.” Following CHIBUZO’s
arrest, JUMA and ABBAS convinced the Victim Businessperson to make the
payments of $299,983.58 described above.
12. In mid-February 2020, the Victim Businessperson came to believe
that JUMA had defrauded him/her. ABBAS—still pretending to be “Malik,” a
Wells Fargo banker—purported to sympathize with the Victim Businessperson and
then fraudulently induced the Victim Businessperson to make additional wire
transfers of $100,000 to AGBABIAKA and $80,000 to a different coconspirator,
which were laundered through a variety of means. At the same time, ABBAS led
JUMA to believe that he had not received any additional payments from the Victim
Businessperson.
13. Accordingly, there is probable cause to believe that ABBAS, JUMA,
CHIBUZO, KYARI, FASHOLA, and AGBABIAKA committed violations of 18
U.S.C. § 1349 (Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud) and 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h)
(Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering).
III. STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE
A. Identification of Defendants
14. As discussed above, ABBAS was identified and charged in Case No.
2:20-CR-00322-ODW. (The identification of ABBAS is discussed in more detail
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 9 of 69 Page ID #:9
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in the Complaint (Dkt. 1) filed in that case number.) The evidence discussed in
this affidavit comes from (a) online accounts of ABBAS and (b) ABBAS’ phone
that the FBI obtained from law enforcement in the U.A.E., and all of which were
searched pursuant to federal search warrants. Review of these sources of
information provided evidence—including photographs, financial documents,
messages with associates, and/or copies of government-issued identifications—
confirming that ABBAS used the online accounts and phone discussed herein.
Moreover, ABBAS admitted, during a Mirandized interview after his arrest by
FBI, that he used the WhatsApp phone number +971543777711, the Instagram
username hushpuppi, and the Snapchat account hushpuppi5.
15. The following sections discuss the identifications of JUMA, KYARI,
CHIBUZO, FASHOLA, and AGBABIAKA, each of whom communicated and
conspired with ABBAS on one or more messaging platforms, including ToTok and
WhatsApp. In those ToTok and WhatsApp conversations ABBAS used the phone
number +971543777711, and ABBAS also communicated using the Snapchat
username hushpuppi5 and the Instagram username hushpuppi.
1. Identification of JUMA
16. JUMA used the phone number +2547233377884
to communicate with
ABBAS, which was saved by ABBAS in his contacts as “Abdul Kenya Akwete.”
JUMA also used his true name—ABDULRAHMAN JUMA—to communicate
with the Victim Businessperson and the “Financial Advisor” of the Victim
Businessperson.
4
Phone numbers listed in this affidavit have been reformatted to include a
“+” before the country code, as is standard when listing international phone numbers. For example, the phone number “254723337788”—which JUMA used
to communicate with ABBAS—is reformatted in this affidavit, for ease of reference, as “+254723337788.”
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 10 of 69 Page ID #:10
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17. According to the Victim Businessperson and the Financial Advisor (as
discussed below in paragraph 47), JUMA provided his business card to the Victim
Businessperson and the Financial Advisor during an in-person meeting in Kenya.
The business card listed his name as ABDULRAHMAN JUMA and stated that he
was the “Chairman” of Westload Financial Solutions. The business card also listed
his phone number as +254723337788. A photograph of that business card is
shown below.
18. Messages that JUMA exchanged with ABBAS corroborate JUMA’s
identity. On December 10, 2019, JUMA, using the phone number
+254723337788, sent a photograph of a medical document to ABBAS. The
document listed the patient’s name as “ABDULRAHMAN JUMA,” and JUMA
told ABBAS that he was getting a checkup for an “itchy throat.”
19. Records from Google, obtained on November 2, 2020, indicated that
the phone number +254723337788 was listed in subscriber records of the email
address aabdul300@gmail.com, which used the name “ABDULRAHMAN
JUMA.”
20. Records from financial service companies likewise indicate that
JUMA used the phone number +254723337788:
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 11 of 69 Page ID #:11
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a. Western Union records indicate that a person using the phone
number +254723337788 listed the name “Abdulrahman Imraad Juma,”5
and a date
of birth in March of 1993, when making payments through the service.
b. MoneyGram records indicate that “ABDULRAHMAN
IMRAAN JUMA”—with the same birthdate in March of 1993, phone number
723337788 (+254723337788 without the Kenya country code “+254”), and a
Kenyan passport with the passport number ending in 1127—received a payment
through the service on May 28, 2017.
21. Finally, I have reviewed a certified non-immigrant visa (“NIV”)
application submitted by JUMA. This application included the aforementioned
phone number +254723337788 and listed JUMA’s name as ABDULRAHMAN
IMRAAN JUMA. Moreover, corroborating the records listed above, the NIV
application listed JUMA’s birthdate as the same date in March of 1993, his Official
Kenya passport number as the same number ending in 1127, and his email address
as aabdul300@gmail.com. The NIV application further included the following
photograph of JUMA.
5
This version of JUMA’s name appears to have misspelled his middle name as “Imraad,” rather than “Imraan.”
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 12 of 69 Page ID #:12
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22. Review of ABBAS’ phone revealed that he and JUMA used a U.A.E.-
based messaging platform called ToTok, on which JUMA was listed as the
username “Wfs.” The evidence indicating that JUMA used the username “Wfs”
includes the following:
a. ABBAS and “Wfs” discussed the scheme to defraud the Qatari
Victim Company in detail, including passing wire details and victim identifying
information, while engaging in simultaneous conversations over WhatsApp, as
well. For example, in December 2019, ABBAS and “Wfs” used ToTok to discuss
how to defraud the Qatari Victim Company, including passing wire confirmation
details and a photograph of the passport of the Victim Businessperson. At
approximately the same time, ABBAS and JUMA used WhatsApp to share
messages that they sent to and received from the Victim Businessperson, and
further discussed how to split the proceeds of the fraud they obtained from the
Victim Businessperson.
b. Further corroborating that “Wfs” was JUMA, “Wfs” stated on
several occasions that he was located in Kenya, and was associated with the
Kenyan law firm “Okatch & Partners,” which was one of the companies that
received funds sent by the Qatari Victim Company.
c. Moreover, there were a number of instances in which JUMA
and “Wfs” sent the same or similar information to ABBAS on both WhatsApp and
ToTok, respectively, in a short timeframe. For example, on January 3, 2020,
JUMA forwarded a message to ABBAS through WhatsApp and, in the same
minute, “Wfs” sent the same message to ABBAS using ToTok. Moreover, on
January 6, 2020, “Wfs” sent a long message over ToTok to ABBAS discussing
how he had not received any money from ABBAS. Within approximately 20
minutes, JUMA sent the same long message to ABBAS over WhatsApp.
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2. Identification of KYARI
23. KYARI communicated with ABBAS primarily using the phone
numbers +2349099999131 and +2348120000043—both of which ABBAS had
saved with contact names including “ABBA KYARI,” as discussed below.
KYARI’s messages to ABBAS contained numerous photographs of himself, some
of which also included his name.
24. For example, using the phone number +2349099999131—which
ABBAS had saved as “ABBA KYARI”—KYARI sent ABBAS the following
photograph, on September 8, 2019:
25. This image depicts KYARI sitting at a desk, surrounded by multiple
photographs of himself. Zooming in on the image revealed that the nameplate on
the desk says “DCP ABBA A. KYARI” and a photograph on the wall states “DCP
ABBA KYARI” and “THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE.” “DCP” is an acronym
for “Deputy Commissioner of Police,” which was KYARI’s title within the Nigeria
Police Force. A magnified version of the latter photograph is included here:
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 14 of 69 Page ID #:14
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26. Using the phone number +2348120000043—which ABBAS had
saved as “ABBA KYARI NEW NUMB”— KYARI sent several images of himself
to ABBAS in April and May 2020, including the following:
27. Additionally, on June 9, 2020, KYARI sent ABBAS a link to an
article in the Nigerian publication “The Independent” describing how the Deputy
Commissioner of Police, ABBA KYARI, was being honored by the Nigeria House
of Representatives. I and another FBI employee located this article online, and a
screenshot of it is included below:
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 15 of 69 Page ID #:15
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28. I reviewed online articles about KYARI, which indicated that KYARI
is an Inspector General of the Police’s Intelligence Response Team and a Deputy
Commissioner of Police in Nigeria. KYARI previously managed the Special AntiRobbery Squad, commonly known as SARS, as the Officer-In-Charge for several
years. Articles referred to KYARI as a “super cop” of the Nigeria Police Force,
and described him as “The Most Decorated Officer In The History Of The
Nigerian Police.”6
KYARI has been awarded many accolades, including
6
See, e.g., The Nigerian Voice, Meet Deputy Commissioner Of Police, Abba Kyari: The Commander, IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT), August 24, 2019, https://www.thenigerianvoice.com/news/281020/meet-deputy- commissioner-of-police-abba-kyari-the-commande.html (last visited December 17, 2020); Nasir Avitogo, Premium Times, June 11, 2020, https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/397226-reps-honour-abba- kyari-for-exemplary-performance.html (last visited December 17, 2020); The News Nigeria, Why House of Reps Decided to Honour Super Cop Abba Kyari, June 11, 2020, https://www.thenewsnigeria.com.ng/2020/06/11/why-house-of- representatives-decided-to-honour-abba-kyari/ (last visited December 17, 2020).
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 16 of 69 Page ID #:16
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recognition for his performance by the Nigerian House of Representatives in June
2020, which KYARI informed ABBAS of via the news article discussed above. I
also reviewed other articles, from October and November 2020, which indicated
that KYARI had been accused of falsely arresting and extorting a businessman in
Lagos.7
Based on those articles, KYARI’s work, in general, appears to have
related primarily to kidnapping cases, and I did not see any articles suggesting that
KYARI worked on fraud cases.
29. Finally, I have reviewed a certified NIV application submitted by
ABBA ALHAJI KYARI, in April 2019. This application included one of the
aforementioned phone numbers (09099999131) that KYARI used to communicate
with ABBAS,8
as well as a date of birth in March of 1975, and KYARI’s Nigerian
passport number ending in 3677. The NIV application also included the following
7
Sahara Reporters, Businessman Petitions Lagos Judicial Panel, Reveals How DCP Abba Kyari Extorted Him of More Than N41m, Oct. 29, 2020, http://saharareporters.com/2020/10/29/businessman-petitions-lagos-judicial-panel- reveals-how-dcp-abba-kyari-extorted-him-more (last visited Feb. 11, 2021); Pulse.ng, Lagos Businessman Accuses DCP Abba Kyari of Extorting over N41m from Him, Oct. 28, 2020, https://www.pulse.ng/news/local/lagos-businessman- accuses-dcp-abba-kyari-of-extorting-over-n41m-from-him/r6c2t3f (last visited Feb. 11, 2021).
8
Based on my training and experience, I know that this phone number format includes the prefix “0,” which is how someone within Nigeria would dial that phone number, rather than using the country code “+234.”
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 17 of 69 Page ID #:17
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photograph, which is consistent with the other photographs of KYARI shown
above:
30. Based on messages I reviewed, ABBAS appears to have first
interacted with KYARI in September 2019, when KYARI traveled to the U.A.E.
The conversation indicated that ABBAS sent a car and driver to drive KYARI
during that trip. Soon thereafter, KYARI sent ABBAS a video slideshow which
showed some personal photographs of KYARI, some of which appeared to have
been taken in the U.A.E. Later in September, after KYARI sent ABBAS an article
that discussed him arresting alleged kidnappers, ABBAS wrote, in part, to KYARI,
“Am really happy to be ur boy,” and later, “I promise to be a good boy to u sir.”
3. Identification of CHIBUZO
31. CHIBUZO communicated with ABBAS on multiple messaging
platforms using the Nigerian phone number +2348078425723, which ABBAS had
saved with the name “Kelly Ogudu New.”
32. As detailed later in this affidavit (see Section III.B.4), at one point
during the scheme to defraud the Qatari Victim Company, CHIBUZO contacted
the Victim Businessperson in an attempt to redirect proceeds of fraud to himself.
In retaliation, ABBAS employed the assistance of KYARI to have CHIBUZO
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 18 of 69 Page ID #:18
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imprisoned. The conversation between ABBAS and KYARI about CHIBUZO
contained identifying information for CHIBUZO, as well as multiple photographs
of him.
a. For example, on January 13, 2020, after becoming frustrated
with “Kelly Ogudu New,” ABBAS asked him thorough a messaging platform for a
good contact number for him. “Kelly Ogudu New” responded to ABBAS’ request
and provided the telephone number +2348078425723. ABBAS then sent this
number, and another phone number, to KYARI.
b. Then, on January 20, 2020, KYARI sent ABBAS detailed
information relating to CHIBUZO, including CHIBUZO’s full name (VINCENT
KELLY CHIBUZO), age at the time (37), place of birth, and address in Abuja.
Additionally, KYARI sent the following photograph of CHIBUZO and wrote, “We
have arrested the guy [¶] He is in my Cell now.”
c. ABBAS confirmed CHIBUZO’s identity, stating “Yes yes that
is him sir.”
d. Separately, in order to substantiate the claim that CHIBUZO
stole money from him, ABBAS provided KYARI screenshots of conversations that
contained the phone number 3054405586, as evidence that CHIBUZO attempted to
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redirect proceeds of the fraud to himself. This number was used by “Kelly Ogudu
New” to pass a fake bank website address to ABBAS, as later described in
paragraph 130.
e. Moreover, as described in paragraph 148, KYARI sent ABBAS
other photographs of CHIBUZO, when discussing how long he had been holding
CHIBUZO in custody.
4. Identification of FASHOLA
33. FASHOLA communicated with ABBAS using ToTok and WhatsApp.
ABBAS had saved FASHOLA’s contact information on ToTok (with phone
number 13472042529) as “Morayo Facetime,” and on WhatsApp (with the phone
number 19735195993) as “Morayyyyyyyyoooooo.”
34. Review of the ToTok communications and other information from
ABBAS’ online accounts confirmed the identity of FASHOLA, as well as
indicating that ABBAS and FASHOLA had a child together. For example, on
March 12, 2020, FASHOLA provided photographs of a high school transcript and
college diploma to ABBAS, which she stated belonged to her. The high school
transcript was issued by the New York City Department of Education, and it listed
the name RUKAYAT FASHOLA, a specific address on Nostrand Avenue in
Brooklyn, New York, and date of birth in October of 1992. The college diploma
was issued by Hunter College of the City University of New York and listed the
name RUKAYAT M. FASHOLA.
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35. Additionally, on March 5, 2020, FASHOLA sent ABBAS a
photograph of her business card, which included the name RUKAYAT
FASHOLA, her photograph, and the phone number 9735195993, which she used
to communicate with ABBAS on WhatsApp. That photograph is pictured below.
36. In August 2020, I reviewed Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”)
records for the State of New York, which confirmed FASHOLA’s date of birth and
address as consistent with the information described above. The records further
included the below photograph of FASHOLA.
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5. Identification of AGBABIAKA
37. AGBABIAKA communicated with ABBAS using the U.S. phone
number 9177740064, which ABBAS had saved with the name “Bolatito New.”
38. On December 30, 2019, AGBABIAKA sent ABBAS a message
containing a photograph of her Nigerian passport, pictured below, which listed her
name as BOLATITO TAWAKALITU AGBABIAKA.
39. Records from T-Mobile USA, Inc., received on August 28, 2020,
indicated that the phone number 9177740064 was subscribed to BOLATITO
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AGBABIAKA, with the same birthdate in April of 1987 as the passport, and a
specific address on Metcalfe St. in Staten Island, New York.
40. In August 2020, I reviewed records from the DMV of New York,
which further confirmed AGBABIAKA’s identity, including the name, date of
birth, and address listed above. Those records also included the following
photograph, which is consistent with the photograph on the Nigerian passport
AGBABIAKA sent to ABBAS.
41. On September 9, 2020, AGBABIAKA entered the United States by
commercial aircraft from the United Kingdom. I reviewed a U.S. Customs and
Border Protection report of a secondary inspection conducted subsequent to her
arrival into the United States. During that secondary inspection, AGBABIAKA
confirmed her address on Metcalfe Street in Staten Island, New York; that her
phone number was 9177740064; that her Instagram account was @bolamide; and
that her email addresses were atito2003@yahoo.com and atito2003@gmail.com.
42. Records from email and social media providers confirm that
AGBABIAKA used that that phone number, the moniker “bolamide,” and the two
email addresses listed above:
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a. Records from Snap Inc., received on November 16, 2020,
indicated an active Snapchat account for the username “bolamide,” which used the
registration email address atito2003@gmail.com and phone number 9177740064.
b. Records from Google Inc., received on January 6, 2021,
indicated that email address atito2003@gmail.com was registered to “Bola Tito”
and also listed the phone number 9177740064.
c. Records from Oath Holdings Inc., received on January 8, 2021,
indicated that email address atito2003@yahoo.com was registered to “Bolatito
Agbabiaka” and also listed the phone number 9177740064.
B. Scheme to Defraud the Victim Businessperson and the Qatari
Victim Company
43. Pursuant to federal search warrants for ABBAS’ phone and multiple
online accounts, I have reviewed communications on multiple messaging platforms
between ABBAS and coconspirators—including JUMA, CHIBUZO, KYARI,
AGBABIAKA, FASHOLA, FASHOLA’s relative who is referred to herein as
“Coconspirator 5,” and others—regarding the fraud and money laundering scheme
targeting the Victim Businessperson and the Qatari Victim Company. I have also
interviewed the Victim Businessperson and the “Financial Advisor” of the Victim
Businessperson, who have confirmed the details of this fraudulent scheme and
provided related documents. Finally, I have obtained records from banks, money
service companies, telephone providers, email and social media companies, the
Department of State, and the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County
Clerk’s Office. The information described below is based, collectively, on these
sources of information, except as otherwise indicated.
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1. Initiation of Fraud Scheme and Initial Fraudulent
Payments of $314,442.78 to JUMA
44. I know the facts described in this section based on information
provided by the Victim Businessperson and the Financial Advisor, including
documents they provided.
45. The Victim Businessperson planned to build an international school
(the Qatari Victim Company) in Qatar, and therefore hired the Financial Advisor to
find a lender who could invest $15 million in the project.
46. Around October 1, 2019, the Financial Advisor began reaching out to
business contacts and conducted searches online to secure an investor to provide
the $15 million loan for his client. As a result of the online search, the Financial
Advisor came into contact with Coconspirator 1, who claimed to live and work in
the Philippines. Coconspirator 1 referred the Financial Advisor to a company in
Kenya—Westload Financial Solutions Limited (“Westload”)—to facilitate the
loan.
47. On November 12, 2019, the Financial Advisor and the Victim
Businessperson travelled to Kenya to meet in person with JUMA and another
person. As noted in paragraph 17, JUMA’s business card identified him as the
“Chairman” of Westload, while the business card of the other person stated he was
the “Funding Officer.”
48. During this meeting, the Victim Businessperson signed a contract with
Westload. The contract stated that the Victim Businessperson was responsible for
paying a “consultancy fee” of $225,000 through the law firm Okatch & Partners
(“Okatch”), which was located in Kenya. The payment was to be made in two
installments—an initial payment of $157,500 and a second payment for $67,500.
Westload also provided two initial invoices; one for $157,500 for the first
installment and another for $6,900, for purported legal and initial engagement fees.
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49. Concurrently, on about November 12, 2019, the Victim
Businessperson began communicating with JUMA over WhatsApp.
50. On around November 13 and 14, 2019, the Victim Businessperson
wired approximately $164,450 to Okatch in four separate transactions.
51. On about December 1, 2019, JUMA provided the Victim
Businessperson a wire transfer confirmation—which was forged and fraudulent—
showing a transfer of $15 million from a Barclays Bank PLC account in the United
Kingdom to the Qatar National Bank (“QNB”) account of the Qatari Victim
Company, dated November 28, 2019.
52. On about December 4, 2020, the Victim Businessperson learned from
QNB that it had not received a payment from Barclays for the Qatari Victim
Company.
53. Shortly thereafter, on about December 5, 2019, JUMA told the Victim
Businessperson that another “payment of release order” was needed to secure the
loan, and requested an additional payment of $150,000.
54. On around December 6 and 7, 2019, the Victim Businessperson wired
approximately USD $150,000 to Okatch in four transactions.
2. JUMA, ABBAS, CHIBUZO, and Others Defrauded the
Victim Businessperson of $330,000, and ABBAS Used the
Funds to Purchase a Luxury Richard Mille Watch and St.
Kitts Citizenship
55. Starting on December 7, 2019, JUMA began communicating with
ABBAS about the scheme to defraud the Victim Businessperson.9
They discussed
9
I know the facts described in this and the following sections—about communications between the various Defendants and other coconspirators—based on a review of communications on multiple messaging platforms between ABBAS and the other Defendants, and other coconspirators, obtained pursuant to federal search warrants.
__
19
(per conversation with affiant 2/12/2021)
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prior payments by the Victim Businessperson, getting the Victim Businessperson’s
passport information, and forms that they could send the Victim Businessperson to
further the fraud scheme. They also discussed how to share the money that the
Victim Businessperson would be sending, and JUMA sent ABBAS a photograph
of the Victim Businessperson’s Qatar passport.
56. On December 10, 2019, ABBAS told JUMA that he would pretend to
be a director of a bank when communicating with the Victim Businessperson.
ABBAS stated, in part, “u need to let me know when reach to forward [him/her] to
speak to the director of the bank which is me to cement things with [him/her] and
prepare [him/her] for what’s cominh“ (sic). JUMA agreed that this was a good
idea and that he would introduce the Victim Businessperson to ABBAS. ABBAS
also told JUMA that he would make a new WhatsApp number to talk with the
Victim Businessperson, possibly using a different phone. ABBAS sent JUMA the
phone number +19177026999 and then, the next day, asked JUMA on a different
messaging platform if he had received the “work number.”
a. As discussed below, this phone number—+19177026999—was
what ABBAS used to communicate with the Victim Businessperson.
57. On December 11, 2019, JUMA explained to ABBAS how profits
were typically shared in Kenya. ABBAS then wrote “What I had in mind was if
there’s 150k, I get 50k and u and ur guys get 100k”—indicating that he wanted to
receive one-third of the amount received from the Victim Businessperson for his
role in the fraud scheme.
58. Several hours later, JUMA sent ABBAS the name and phone number
of the Victim Businessperson so that ABBAS could contact the victim directly.
When JUMA asked if he should refer to ABBAS’ persona—”Malik”—as being
from Dubai, ABBAS responded “No o [¶] My number is from USA [¶] So say
from New York.”
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59. ABBAS sent messages to the Victim Businessperson claiming to be
“Malik,” the “director of the bank responsible for crediting you the funds,” who
was working with “Mr. Rahman from Kenya” (i.e., JUMA). At approximately the
same time, JUMA told the Victim Businessperson that “Mr. Malik from the US”
would be contacting the Victim Businessperson, and sent the Victim
Businessperson the phone number that ABBAS sent him. While both were
communicating with the Victim Businessperson, JUMA and ABBAS shared with
each other screenshots and copied text of parts of the conversations they were each
having with the Victim Businessperson.
60. Shortly afterward, also on December 11, 2019, JUMA asked ABBAS
“What do you think of [him/her?]” ABBAS responded, “Amazing job, [s/he] was
complying accordingly.”
61. On December 16, 2019, ABBAS contacted a coconspirator
(“Coconspirator 2”), saying he needed a male voice to call from a specific number,
because the Victim Businessperson was “expecting call [sic] from a bank executive
in New York[.]” ABBAS then provided the phone number of the Victim
Businessperson to Coconspirator 2 and explained what he should say to the Victim
Businessperson. Specifically, ABBAS told Coconspirator 2 to relay to the Victim
Businessperson that they would need to open a bank account in the United States
in order to transfer the $15 million loan because Qatar had purportedly been
sanctioned by the United States government. ABBAS also forwarded several
conversations he had on WhatsApp with the Victim Businessperson to
Coconspirator 2.
62. After Coconspirator 2 contacted the Victim Businessperson, the
Victim Businessperson thanked ABBAS, and asked to have the loan funds
transferred from the U.S. bank account that would be set up by ABBAS to the
Victim Businessperson’s bank account in London. At approximately the same
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time, ABBAS reported to JUMA, “[S/he]’s so happy[.] I had a white guy call
[him/her] from America now” . . . Real white man [¶] I was on the other line [¶]
[S/he] was so happy and . . . respectful[.]”
63. Shortly thereafter, JUMA asked ABBAS if the Victim Businessperson
had opened the U.S. bank account already. ABBAS responded, “the contact is
opening [his/her] bank account today [¶] I will give [him/her] everything today [¶]
Day just started in America.” ABBAS then sent to JUMA a part of conversation
he was having with the Victim Businessperson, explaining “Me and [man/woman]
in conversation [¶] [S/he] will carry $550,000 bill today.”
64. On December 17, 2019, JUMA asked ABBAS if he had opened the
U.S. bank account yet. ABBAS responded, “Company opened, account will be
opened today.” At approximately the same time, the Victim Businessperson told
JUMA that s/he had talked to “Mr. Malik from the US” and that he had confirmed
that the U.S. bank account would be set up and the $15 million loan would be
transferred to London after clearing the U.S. bank account. JUMA then relayed
that conversation to ABBAS.
65. Records from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County
Clerk’s Office confirm that a person (“Coconspirator 3”) filed a Fictitious Business
Name Statement in the name of the Qatari Victim Company on December 17,
2019. Bank records indicate that Coconspirator 3 then used that Fictitious
Business Name Statement to open a bank account ending in 5320 at the Wells
Fargo branch in Canoga Park (the “Canoga Park Wells Fargo Account”) in the
name of the Qatari Victim Company, on December 17, 2019.
66. On December 19, 2019, ABBAS sent JUMA a photograph of a check
for the Canoga Park Wells Fargo Account and an image of a Fictitious Business
Name Statement for the Qatari Victim Company, which listed Coconspirator 3 as
the registered owner.
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67. The same day, ABBAS sent the names of the Victim Businessperson,
the Qatari Victim Company, and Coconspirator 3, and a photograph of the
Fictitious Business Name Statement filed by Coconspirator 3, to CHIBUZO. Later
that day, CHIBUZO sent a photograph to ABBAS of a signature page for a
document, and told ABBAS that he should tell the Victim Businessperson that the
document would be notarized and sent back to the Victim Businessperson.
68. On December 19, 2019, ABBAS sent the Victim Businessperson the
document that CHIBUZO had created, which purported to be a “Durable Power of
Attorney” form, and requested that it be returned signed. After the Victim
Businessperson signed and returned it, ABBAS told the Victim Businessperson
that he forwarded the “Durable Power of Attorney” document to “the appointed
personnel to go to the notary office to get it notarized.” The form fraudulently
purported to be appointing Coconspirator 3 as the “attorney-in-fact” for the Victim
Businessperson, on behalf of the Qatari Victim Company.
69. On December 20, 2019, ABBAS sent the account and online login
information for the Canoga Park Wells Fargo Account—including the name of the
Qatari Victim Company, the bank account number (ending in 5320), the routing
number, and the username and password to login to the account—to the Victim
Businessperson.
70. Shortly afterward, the Victim Businessperson sent ABBAS the
account information for a United Kingdom bank account where ABBAS could
send the loan funds. ABBAS told the Victim Businessperson that it would not
work to send funds to a “personal account” in the United Kingdom and, instead,
said that the Victim Businessperson should open an “investor’s account with our
private banking service over there[.]” After the Victim Businessperson requested
ABBAS’ help opening the bank account, ABBAS stated that he would need the
Victim Businessperson’s “passport photograph” and that the account would need
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to be funded with a “minimum of 250,000 pounds,” which ABBAS said the Victim
Businessperson could access after the account was opened.
71. The Victim Businessperson appeared hesitant to wire an additional
ǧDQGVDLGV/he wanted to speak to JUMA. At approximately the same
time, ABBAS told JUMA “[S/he]’s paying 250k pounds.” ABBAS further wrote,
“[S/he] just wants to speak to you to confirm it[,] so confirm it and let [him/her]
pay tomorrow. This one is just going to be between me and you cos it’s not even
the main bill[.]”
a. Based on my training and experience, this conversation
suggests that ABBAS and JUMA were not planning on sharing the fraudulently
obtained funds with other coconspirators.
72. On December 20, 2019, JUMA sent to ABBAS what appeared to be a
message from the Victim Businessperson. That message stated, “I understood that
once the US account is opened then the fund will be in the account and Mr. Malik
will help me transfer to my UK account.”
73. ABBAS also forwarded to JUMA a message he received from the
Victim Businessperson about the Victim Businessperson being unwilling to pay
additional fees. This led to an argument between ABBAS and JUMA regarding a
“commission payment” that was supposed to belong to JUMA. ABBAS
responded, “Bro don’t let me be wasting my time, how are u telling client not to
pay and u are letting me stress out” and JUMA wrote “Come hush” (referencing
ABBAS’ nickname, “Hush” or “Hushpuppi”) as part of his response.
a. Based on my training and experience with online fraud
investigations involving Nigerian-origin subjects, the term “client” often refers to a
victim of fraud.
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74. On December 22, 2019, JUMA told ABBAS that they needed to
“show” the Victim Businessperson “something” to get him/her “excited” about the
loan.
75. Eventually, on December 23, 2019, the Victim Businessperson agreed
to send additional money, contacting ABBAS to inquire about the different types
of investment accounts that were available. The Victim Businessperson further
asked ABBAS where to send the money. On December 23, 2019, ABBAS told the
Victim Businessperson that s/he would be sending funds to “two separate
accounts,” and that ABBAS would “provide . . . full details in the morning cos of
red flags.”
76. A few days earlier, on December 19, 2019, ABBAS communicated
with AGBABIAKA regarding a bank account to which he could send the funds.
AGBABIAKA provided account information for a Capital One bank account
ending in 2389 opened in her name (the “AGBABIAKA Capital One Account”),
including the account number, the routing number, the bank’s address, and
AGBABIAKA’s home address.
a. Based on records from Capital One, AGBABIAKA opened the
AGBABIAKA Capital One Account on January 17, 2017.
b. In the days after AGBABIAKA provided her Capital One bank
account information, AGBABIAKA provided the bank account information for
two persons she had attempted to recruit for ABBAS to use their bank accounts to
receive fraudulent proceeds, as described in the paragraphs below. AGBABIAKA
negotiated with these persons on ABBAS’ behalf regarding the amount that they
would be paid for the use of their accounts:
i. On December 23, 2019, AGBABIAKA provided
information regarding a Chase bank account in another person’s name for ABBAS
to use, including the account number, routing number, account owner’s name,
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business account name, bank address, account address, and ATM PIN. ABBAS
asked “And what does he or she want for helping me receive the funds and handing
over to you?” AGBABIAKA responded “This one wan collect percentage ni oo [¶]
He dey tel me say 50/50 [¶] I b tell am say no.” (In other words, based on my
training and experience with Nigerian Pidgin, AGBABIAKA was saying that the
accountholder had requested 50 percent of the funds, which she told him was not
acceptable.) AGBABIAKA then suggested to ABBAS that she was waiting for
two other persons who might provide accounts to use, and sent screenshots to
ABBAS of her requests to them for accounts to accept a wire transfer.
ii. On December 24, 2019, ABBAS then stated, “Yankee
needed and the money will be sent out tomorrow morning.” (Based on my training
and experience with Nigerian Pidgin, “Yankee” is a term sometimes used by
persons of Nigerian descent who are committing fraud to refer to a bank account in
the United States—so, in other words, ABBAS was saying that he needed a U.S.
bank account for a transfer that would occur the next day.) AGBABIAKA then
provided the business name, account address, bank address, account number,
routing number, and SWIFT code for a TD Bank account in the name of another
person. ABBAS asked if that person would “take 10%,” and AGBABIAKA
responded, “He talk 20%.” ABBAS responded “15 max.”
iii. Ultimately, however, when ABBAS would not agree to
the terms those persons requested for using their bank accounts, ABBAS asked
AGBABIAKA if her own Capital One bank account could receive a wire transfer.
AGBABIAKA told ABBAS that she would try to open an account at TD Bank,
and ABBAS told her to try to “open accounts” that could accept wire transfers.
77. On December 23, 2019, ABBAS asked AGBABIAKA for the “swift
code” for her own bank account, which AGBABIAKA, in turn, provided.
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78. Also on December 23, 2019, ABBAS began communicating over
Instagram with the Florida Watch Seller. This conversation is further described in
paragraphs 95 to 95.e. ABBAS then asked the Florida Watch Seller to “send me
the account” and the watch seller responded with details of his Wells Fargo
account (the “Watch Seller Wells Fargo Account”).
79. On December 24, 2019, ABBAS sent the Victim Businessperson
account information—including the accountholders’ names and addresses, the
account numbers, the routing numbers, and the SWIFT codes—for the
AGBABIAKA Capital One Account and the Watch Seller Wells Fargo Account.
ABBAS also provided instructions for the amounts that were to be paid to each
account in U.S. dollars—$265,000 to the Watch Seller Wells Fargo Account and
$65,000 to the AGBABIAKA Capital One Account, for a total of $330,000.
80. The Victim Businessperson questioned why the payment was to be in
U.S. Dollars when ABBAS initially told him/her it would be ǧ250,000. ABBAS
responded, “That’s the equivalent in pounds, it won’t go in as pounds to the us
account so even if you send in pounds, it will be converted to usd and might fall
short on exchange rates so it’s better to send by usd to avoid such.”
81. Later, the Victim Businessperson told ABBAS that there was a
$230,000 wire limit per transfer, so s/he would be sending $230,000 to the Watch
Seller Wells Fargo Account and $100,000 to the AGBABIAKA Capital One
Account. The Victim Businessperson made those wire transfers from the Qatari
Victim Company’s Qatar National Bank (QNB) account on December 24, 2020,
and then sent ABBAS photographs of the wire transfer confirmations, upon his
request.
82. The Victim Businessperson also told JUMA s/he had completed the
transfer of $330,000 into two accounts and asked, “Can you please let me know
when I can receive the fund [sic] as agreed and promised[?]” JUMA forwarded the
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messages from the Victim Businessperson to ABBAS and stated “I need your
advise [sic] before I get back to [him/her.]”
i. ABBAS and AGBABIAKA Laundered $100,000 in a
Variety of Ways, Including $50,000 Used to Fraudulently
Purchase St. Kitts Citizenship for ABBAS
83. ABBAS and AGBABIAKA laundered the $100,000 in a variety of
ways. This included cash withdrawals and cashier’s checks, using illicit money
exchangers to transfer funds to Nigeria, and using $50,000 of the funds to
fraudulently purchase St. Kitts citizenship and a passport for ABBAS. This
laundering is further described in the remainder of this section.
84. On December 24, 2019, ABBAS sent a photograph of the wire
transfer confirmation for the wire destined for the AGBABIAKA Capital One
Account to AGBABIAKA. This photograph contained the account number for the
Qatari Victim Company’s QNB account, among other information.
85. On December 26, 2019, AGBABIAKA provided ABBAS screenshots
of the AGBABIAKA Capital One Account showing that the wire of $100,000 had
been posted to the account.
a. Bank records for the AGBABIAKA Capital One Account
confirmed the wire transfer of $100,000 from the Qatari Victim Company’s QNB
account.
86. Starting on December 26, 2019, AGBABIAKA and ABBAS
discussed the laundering of the funds. AGBABIAKA told ABBAS that she was
able to withdraw $7,000, would find a “buyer,” and asked for ABBAS’ bank
account information.
a. Based on my training and experience, AGBABIAKA’s
reference to finding a “buyer” indicates that she was going to sell the $7,000 in
U.S. Dollars to an unlicensed, illicit currency exchanger, who would then transfer
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the equivalent amount of Nigerian Naira to the bank account that she specified.
ABBAS’ response to AGBABIAKA, described in paragraph 87, corroborates that
understanding.
b. Bank records for the AGBABIAKA Capital One Account show
a cash withdrawal of $7,100 on December 26, 2019.
87. ABBAS then sent AGBABIAKA the account number for a bank
account at Guaranty Trust Bank (“GTBank”)—a Nigerian bank—in the name of
another person. When AGBABIAKA noted that this was not ABBAS’ bank
account, ABBAS explained that this was the account he used now; he did not use
his Nigerian bank account anymore because he was under investigation in Nigeria:
“Them dey investigate me so I stop to dey use my account.”
88. Shortly after that, AGBABIAKA told ABBAS “Na 355 I find ooo.”
Based on my training and experience with investigations involving money
laundering and Nigerian-origin subjects, I understand that AGBABIAKA was
likely telling ABBAS that she was able to find a money exchanger who would
provide an exchange rate of $1 U.S. dollar to 355 Nigerian Naira. ABBAS then
responded, “Go ahead.”
89. Later, after asking AGBABIAKA to “sell” an additional $20,000,
ABBAS confirmed AGBABIAKA was working to facilitate the transfer of more
money to him, writing “U fit sell dollar there and send me naira?” AGBABIAKA
responded “I don do 12k so far frm d 20k u request yesterday” and said later that
she would go to Maryland “to deliver d money” to a buyer. (I know based on
investigations involving targets who communicated in Nigerian Pidgin that “don”
roughly means “did,” so AGBABIAKA was telling ABBAS that she had
exchanged $12,000 of the $20,000 he had requested.)
90. On December 27, 2019, ABBAS also told AGBABIAKA that she
could keep $8,000 for herself to spend on what she wanted. Account records show
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that AGBABIAKA subsequently withdrew $10,000 as a cashier’s check payable to
“BOLATITO T AGBABIAKA,” on December 30, 2019. Account records for a
bank account at TD Bank opened in AGBABIAKA’s name (the “AGBABIAKA
TD Bank Account”) show that AGBABIAKA deposited the cashier’s check into
that account on December 30, 2019. Based on review of the account statements,
AGBABIAKA spent this money on personal expenses.
91. On December 30, 2019, AGBABIAKA sent ABBAS several
photographs of transfer receipts showing transfers of more than 4,136,000 Naira
(more than $10,000, based on reported exchange rates) to the GTBank account that
ABBAS had previously sent her. AGBABIAKA also sent a photograph of her
Nigerian passport, which is described and pictured in paragraph 38, and a passportsized photograph of herself. (As discussed below, in paragraph 100, ABBAS later
sent this passport to the Florida Watch Seller to confirm the identity of the person
who would be picking up the Richard Mille watch.)
92. Finally, ABBAS used $50,000 of the funds that went into the
AGBABIAKA Capital One Account to fraudulently purchase citizenship from St.
Kitts and obtain a passport:
a. Beginning in September 2019, ABBAS exchanged messages
with a dual U.S. and St. Kitts citizen (“Coconspirator 4”) whose parents were
citizens and residents of St. Kitts. Coconspirator 4 told ABBAS how he could
obtain St. Kitts citizenship and a passport. The scheme included creating a false
marriage certificate and then apparently bribing a government official in St. Kitts.
ABBAS told Coconspirator 4 that he would create a fake marriage certificate
showing that he was married to Coconspirator 4.
b. On October 16, 2019, Coconspirator 4 provided ABBAS with
her personal identifying information, including her full name, date of birth,
occupation, address, father’s name, and father’s occupation (bailiff) to use in the
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marriage certificate. Coconspirator 4 further told ABBAS to backdate the
marriage certificate to October 2018.
c. Two days later, ABBAS sent Coconspirator 4 a photograph of
the forged and fraudulent marriage certificate from the Federal Republic of
Nigeria.
d. On November 5, 2019, Coconspirator 4 told ABBAS the name
of the St. Kitts government official to whom he should mail his documents to
request citizenship and a passport.
e. On November 13, 2019, Coconspirator 4 told ABBAS that her
father could speak to ABBAS directly about how to expedite ABBAS’ citizenship
and passport, and told ABBAS to call him on WhatsApp.
f. On multiple occasions in December 2019, Coconspirator 4 and
ABBAS discussed the process for obtaining citizenship, and the price for
citizenship. Coconspirator 4 told ABBAS that her father was trying to negotiate a
price, and that he thought it would be “$60,000 to $55,000.” Ultimately, after
further discussion, ABBAS told Coconspirator 4, on December 30, 2019, “Tell him
I can do 50K.”
g. The next day, December 31, 2019, ABBAS told Coconspirator
4 that he would split the payment of $50,000 into two transactions: one would be a
$40,000 cashier’s check and the other a $10,000 cash payment.
h. On December 31, 2019, ABBAS also sent AGBABIAKA the
First National Bank of Pennsylvania account number and the name of
Coconspirator 4’s father, telling her “Send $40,000 tomorrow.” After
AGBABIAKA told ABBAS that it would take 30 days to send a wire from the
AGBABIAKA Capital One Account, ABBAS and AGBABIAKA agreed that
AGBABIAKA would attempt to withdraw the amount by cashier’s check.
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i. AGBABIAKA sent ABBAS a photograph of the cashier’s
check made out to the name of Coconspirator 4’s father, and photographs
confirming that she mailed the check to an address ABBAS provided (from
Coconspirator 4) in Georgia. Before AGBABIAKA sent that photograph, ABBAS
explained to AGBABIAKA that he had used this money to obtain citizenship by
arranging to have marriage paperwork created and then paying for citizenship.
j. ABBAS sent Coconspirator 4 a screenshot of a messaging
conversation with AGBABIAKA discussing the cashier’s check, and later sent
Coconspirator 4 the photograph of a cashier’s check in the amount of $40,000
made payable to Coconspirator 4’s father, drawn from the AGBABIAKA Capital
One Account.
i. Bank records for the AGBABIAKA Capital One Account
show that AGBABIAKA purchased the cashier’s check of $40,000, on or about
December 31, 2019. Records for the First National Bank account of Coconspirator
4’s father show that the cashier’s check was deposited into the account on January
13, 2020.
k. On January 29, 2020, Coconspirator 4 told ABBAS that his
citizenship certificate had been signed and the passport application had been
generated.
l. On February 4, 2020, Coconspirator 4 sent ABBAS a
photograph of his Certificate of Citizenship, pictured below:
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m. On February 7, 2020, Coconspirator 4 instructed ABBAS to
pay the remaining $10,000 to another person, instead of her father, using a Georgia
United Credit Union account.
i. Account records for the AGBABIAKA Capital One
Account show that AGBABIAKA purchased a cashier’s check of $10,000 in the
name of that other person, on March 2, 2020. The account records for that
person’s Georgia United Credit Union account show that the cashier’s check was
deposited into the account on March 2, 2020.
n. On February 24, 2020, ABBAS sent a message to a person
showing ABBAS shaking hands with another male, standing before what appears
to be a St. Kitts flag, holding a St. Kitts passport. That photograph is pictured
below.
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o. ABBAS’ St. Kitts passport was seized at his residence in Dubai
upon arrest by the Dubai Police Department, on June 9, 2020, and provided to the
FBI, on July 2, 2020, at the time of ABBAS’ arrest.
ii. ABBAS Conspired with AGBABIAKA and FASHOLA
to Launder the $230,000 Wire Through Purchase of a
Richard Mille RM 11-03 Watch, Which Coconspirator 5
Hand-Delivered to ABBAS in the U.A.E.
93. As noted above, ABBAS used the wire transfer of $230,000 to
purchase a luxury Richard Mille RM 11-03 watch, conspiring with AGBABIAKA
and FASHOLA to transport the watch to the U.A.E. That part of the scheme is
discussed in this section.
94. Bank records indicate that the Victim Businessperson wired $230,000
from the QNB account of the Qatari Victim Company to a bank account used by
the Florida Watch Seller on December 26, 2019.
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95. In late December 2019, ABBAS discussed and negotiated, using
messaging platforms, with the Florida Watch Seller about the purchase of a
Richard Mille RM 11-03 watch:
a. On December 23, 2019, the Florida Watch Seller sent ABBAS
multiple photographs of Richard Mille watches, and told ABBAS, “New Rose
Gold Titanium $230 Full Rose $265 New Full Rose $275.”
b. After sending a photograph of a new Rose Gold and Titanium
Richard Mille 11-03 watch, the Florida Watch Seller told ABBAS that it cost
$230,000. The Florida Watch Seller told ABBAS that another new, fully Rose
Gold Richard Mille 11-03 watch was in New York.
c. ABBAS then immediately asked for the Florida Watch Seller’s
bank account information. The Florida Watch Seller provided account details,
including the beneficiary name, account number, and routing number for the
Watch Seller Wells Fargo Account.
d. On December 24, 2019, after confirming that the bank account
could handle large, international wire transfers, ABBAS told the Florida Watch
Seller, “It’s done bro,” and sent the photograph of the wire transfer confirmation
that the Victim Businessperson sent to ABBAS.
e. ABBAS and the Florida Watch Seller then discussed the
particular watch he would be purchasing, with ABBAS ultimately purchasing the
Rose Gold and Titanium model.
96. On December 26, 2019, after the wire transfer from the Victim
Businessperson, ABBAS asked AGBABIAKA if she would be available to go to
Miami to pick up the watch and fly with it to Dubai. He also provided a phone
number for the Florida Watch Seller. After apparently calling the phone number,
AGBABIAKA reported to ABBAS, “he said he will send it to his partner for nyc,”
indicating that the Florida Watch Seller would ship the watch ABBAS was
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purchasing to New York City to another watch seller (the “New York Watch
Seller”).
97. FASHOLA was separately communicating with the Florida Watch
Seller, as well, for ABBAS. On December 31, 2019, FASHOLA forwarded
communications to ABBAS that she was having with the Florida Watch Seller. In
images discussing the $230,000 wired to the Florida Watch Seller, the Florida
Watch Seller told FASHOLA to explain to ABBAS that the delay in sending the
watch was because “the bank thought it was fraud cause the way he sent the
money.”
98. During that approximate time, ABBAS was also communicating with
the Victim Businessperson, and told him/her that the receiver of the wire (the
Florida Watch Seller) told the bank the wire was for a watch, not for a school (the
Qatari Victim Company). ABBAS later reported to the Victim Businessperson, on
December 31, 2019, that the issues with the wire had been cleared.
99. Bank records indicate that, on January 2, 2020, the Florida Watch
Seller sent a wire transfer of $225,000 to the bank account of the New York Watch
Seller, with the wire transfer details stating, “Watch Payment from [Florida Watch
Seller] Richard Mille RM11 03 RG Ti 2019.”
100. On January 3, 2020, ABBAS sent the Florida Watch Seller a
photograph of AGBABIAKA’s passport, as discussed in paragraphs 38 and 91. In
response, the Florida Watch Seller provided a phone number for the New York
Watch Seller. Shortly thereafter, ABBAS messaged the New York Watch Seller
and introduced himself as “Hush.” The New York Watch Seller provided the
address of his store, which ABBAS then sent to both AGBABIAKA and
FASHOLA. ABBAS told FASHOLA that AGBABIAKA would meet her at the
watch store and provided her AGBABIAKA’s phone number. ABBAS also told
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AGBABIAKA that “U go meet morayo there,” referring to FASHOLA’s nickname
(Morayo).
101. On January 4, 2020, ABBAS and AGBABIAKA discussed how to get
the watch to ABBAS in Dubai, U.A.E. Specifically, ABBAS initially purchased a
ticket, and arranged a visa, for AGBABIAKA to fly the watch to the U.A.E. When
AGBABIAKA told him she could not, and suggested that she could mail the watch
to ABBAS, ABBAS rejected that idea, saying, “I’m not taking no risk sending a
quarter million dollar watch.” AGBABIAKA reminded ABBAS, “I remembered I
mailed you the patek [¶ ] And you get am.” (I know based on review of articles on
the internet that Patek Philippe is another high-end watch manufacturer.) ABBAS
rejected the idea, saying, “That’s 70,000 watch [¶ ] I need that watch here
tomorrow [¶ ] Tomorrow is Saturday[.] delivery won’t come.” Shortly thereafter,
ABBAS told AGBABIAKA to meet “Morayo” (FASHOLA) at the airport, and
that she would be bringing someone to fly the watch to Dubai.
102. At approximately the same time, FASHOLA sent ABBAS a
photograph of a passport of Coconspirator 5, as well as sending the name and date
of birth of Coconspirator 5. ABBAS asked FASHOLA to “Help me call bola [i.e.,
BOLATITO AGBABIAKA] to arrange where is best to take the watch and go
airport straight.” ABBAS then told FASHOLA that he was purchasing a ticket for
Coconspirator 5, and later sent her a screenshot of a booking confirmation page for
Coconspirator 5’s flight from JFK to Dubai.
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103. After FASHOLA confirmed AGBABIAKA had brought her the
Richard Mille watch, ABBAS asked her to take a photo of the watch and warranty
certificate. FASHOLA responded by providing the photograph pictured below.
104. Shortly thereafter, FASHOLA wrote she was headed to the airport and
asked for ABBAS’ WhatsApp phone number to provide to Coconspirator 5.
FASHOLA also provided Coconspirator 5’s phone number and told ABBAS, “He
boarded the plane. His name is [nickname for Coconspirator 5]. Plz be at the
airport waiting for him. Its his first time Traveling alone.” ABBAS told
FASHOLA that he already spoke to Coconspirator 5 and had arranged a “VIP
concierge” to get Coconspirator 5 from the plane.
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105. ABBAS contacted Coconspirator 5 after he landed in Dubai, asking if
Coconspirator 5 had gotten past “immigration” and instructing him to “Wear watch
on wrist at all times here no need to take off for security point.”
106. On January 6, 2020, ABBAS confirmed to the New York Watch
Seller that he had received the watch, and stated he had just purchased a yellow
strap for it. ABBAS also sent the following photograph of the Richard Mille watch
and new strap, which records indicate ABBAS purchased at the Dubai Mall for
approximately $550.
107. On January 13, 2020, ABBAS posted a photograph on Instagram,
pictured below, wearing and mentioning the Richard Mille watch.
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3. JUMA, ABBAS, CHIBUZO, and Others Conspired to
Defraud the Victim Businessperson of $299,983.58
108. On December 26, 2019, CHIBUZO sent ABBAS a screenshot of a
messaging conversation with another coconspirator. In that conversation,
CHIBUZO stated “Hush and I spoke” and “We will need something like wells
Fargo offshore website. Where the client can log in online and attempt a transfer.”
In other words, the message discussed creating a fake Wells Fargo bank website,
which ABBAS would then send to the Victim Businessperson to convince the
Victim Businessperson that funds had been deposited into his/her account, in order
to fraudulently induce the Victim Businessperson to make a further payment.
109. On January 4, 2020, CHIBUZO sent a message to ABBAS containing
a “telephone banking” number that CHIBUZO stated would “blow the client
mind.” As further described below, this was to be a test of a fake banking
automated telephone number that ABBAS would later send to the Victim
Businessperson, which would report a monetary balance in an account that did not
exist, in order to convince the Victim Businessperson that the promised funds were
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finally being provided and fraudulently induce the Victim Businessperson to make
a further payment.
110. On January 6, 2020, ABBAS sent JUMA the “telephone banking”
information. The following day, January 7, 2020, after several calls with ABBAS,
CHIBUZO told ABBAS to download a different communication application,
TextMe, and asked ABBAS for the account number and name on the account that
was opened. ABBAS provided the account number for the Canoga Park Wells
Fargo Account opened by Coconspirator 3, and also the TextMe phone number
+13477691770.
111. On January 8, 2020, CHIBUZO sent ABBAS a different “telephone
banking” number, and sent the account number of the Canoga Park Wells Fargo
Account and a purported pin code.
112. At approximately the same time, ABBAS asked JUMA in a message,
“How much should we bill [the Victim Businessperson?]” After a brief discussion,
ABBAS and JUMA settled on attempting to defraud the Victim Businessperson
again for $570,000 initially and, afterwards, an additional $250,000. ABBAS
provided JUMA with the new “telephone banking” number and asked JUMA to
“Try like the last time.” ABBAS then sent this “telephone banking” information to
the Victim Businessperson, telling him/her to call the phone number to confirm
that his/her money—the $15 million loan—was available in the Canoga Park Wells
Fargo Account. ABBAS also told him/her that he was getting him/her “online
access” to the funds.
113. The Victim Businessperson told ABBAS s/he contacted the
“telephone banking” number and wrote, “OMG, I can’t believe it, its true.” After
asking ABBAS whether s/he could transfer the funds to Qatar, and ABBAS
confirming that s/he could, the Victim Businessperson wrote, “thank you so
much[.]”
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114. ABBAS separately forwarded a screenshot of this conversation to
CHIBUZO and JUMA on WhatsApp. ABBAS then instructed JUMA to “Call [the
Victim Businessperson] with congratulations too now please.”
115. After calling the Victim Businessperson, JUMA responded to ABBAS
with an audio message, which is transcribed below:
Aye bro, uh, you have no idea. My God, [s/he] can’t even
breathe, bro. The excitement! [S/he] can’t breathe talking
to me, bro. It’s crazy [unintelligible]! [S/he]’s really
excited. [S/he] can’t really talking to me. [S/he]’s even
crying tears of joy. Congratulating me. Thanking me.
Sorry if I had wronged you. Sorry if this what happened.
What-what-what I told [him/her], “Listen, [sir/madam],
you know this thing is not easy. And this is why you need
to be very, uh, confidential about this whole process
because it’s not easy completely. It was a time
[unintelligible] it was really bad for you to start talking
about your progress with other people because you never
know their intentions and all that.” But, uh, I promised,
uh, “Mr. Malik you need to do your best and pay him his
charges.” That he has been on our side and helpful.
[S/he]’s like, “I’ll do it just now.” So, [s/he]’s very
happy, bro.
116. ABBAS then asked JUMA, “Are u proud of me or no?” JUMA
responded, in part, “It’s a perfect job bro.”
117. Also on January 8, 2020, CHIBUZO sent ABBAS a photograph of a
fake Wells Fargo banking site that he was working with a “website guy” to create,
to further defraud the Victim Businessperson. ABBAS asked CHIBUZO when
they should provide the fake website to the Victim Businessperson. CHIBUZO
responded that they should provide the website to the Victim Businessperson
“Tonight,” and added that he was “working on storyline.” ABBAS told
CHIBUZO, “I need story line in 10mins.” CHIBUZO then provided a photograph
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of what appeared to be a Wikipedia webpage discussing “U.S. State Non-resident
Withholding Tax”. Shortly thereafter, ABBAS sent that photograph to the Victim
Businessperson, claiming that s/he would need to pay a tax of USD $575,000 on
the loan to have it cleared. The Victim Businessperson responded, “Sorry but this
is too much.” ABBAS then separately sent screenshots of his conversation with
the Victim Businessperson to both CHIBUZO and JUMA.
118. On January 9, 2020 the Victim Businessperson told JUMA s/he
wanted the loan money and asked him to find a way to avoid having to pay the tax
of $575,000. JUMA sent screenshots of this conversation to ABBAS.
119. On January 10, 2020, ABBAS and JUMA discussed reducing the
amount the Victim Businessperson should be asked to pay. JUMA stated he would
tell the Victim Businessperson that the owners of the money being loaned would
assist in paying part of the taxes.
120. On January 9 and 10, 2020, CHIBUZO complained to ABBAS that
ABBAS had not paid for the work that was being done on the fake website. On
January 10, 2020, CHIBUZO called ABBAS and provided the address for the fake
Wells Fargo bank website. Soon thereafter, on January 13, 2020, JUMA and
ABBAS learned that CHIBUZO had contacted the Victim Businessperson directly
to tell him/her that ABBAS was “fake.” (The details of the falling out between
JUMA and ABBAS, on the one hand, and CHIBUZO, on the other hand, are
discussed in Section III.B.4, which describes how ABBAS arranged to have
KYARI arrest and imprison CHIBUZO, and requested that KYARI beat
CHIBUZO badly, in retaliation for CHIBUZO’s interference in the fraud scheme.)
121. ABBAS and JUMA later discussed how to stop the Victim
Businessperson from flying to the United Kingdom to confirm that there were
funds in the purported Wells Fargo account. JUMA also mentioned that he told the
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Victim Businessperson to keep things quiet, and to not tell anyone or ask anyone
about the status of the loan.
122. On January 13, 2020, the Victim Businessperson told ABBAS that
s/he would agree to pay $440,000 in taxes. A few days earlier, starting on January
11, 2020, ABBAS had asked FASHOLA to help him find an account to receive
additional funds. FASHOLA replied indicating “Would have to be business and
the person would want a cut.”
a. FASHOLA discussed with ABBAS laundering funds on other
occasions, as well. For example, on March 26, 2020, ABBAS and FASHOLA
discussed her purchase of a new home with a mortgage. In this discussion,
ABBAS claimed it was hard for him to make a similar purchase “cos I’m not fully
legitimately organized here.” FASHOLA told ABBAS, “Yea that’s why you
should clean the money first [¶] It took me a few months to do that [¶] I basically
pay Abby in cash and she writes me checks. And also ElysianD I put a lot of
money in and just sell back the items so it can look clean.”
i. Based on bank records, ElysianD LLC is a company
owned by FASHOLA.
b. On April 1, 2020, ABBAS sent FASHOLA a screenshot of a
conversation with an apparent romance scam victim. FASHOLA asked if this was
a “Client?,” which, as discussed in paragraph 73.a, is a term that persons
committing online fraud sometimes use to describe a fraud victim. ABBAS
confirmed the person was, and then complained that the bank account he was sent
had “messed things up” because it had already been flagged by the bank.
i. Based on my training and experience, I know that
romance scams target persons looking for romantic partners or friendship on dating
websites and other social media platforms. The scammers may create profiles
using fictitious or fake names, locations, images, and personas, allowing the
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scammers to cultivate relationships with prospective romance scam victims.
Victims may be convinced to provide money or gifts to the scammers, or may be
asked to conduct transactions on behalf of the scammers.
c. On May 19, 2020 ABBAS asked FASHOLA to “Give me a
company for dating work [¶] This one is less % but money will come out
1000000%.” FASHOLA responded “Yea the one I found they don’t like the
percentage[.] still looking.” When ABBAS asked what percent the accountholder
was charging for use of the account, FASHOLA responded “They want 50.”
i. Based on my training and experience with investigations
of Nigerian online fraud, “dating” is a term that persons committing fraud use to
refer to what is described above as a romance scam.
d. In addition, on other occasions in 2020, ABBAS and
FASHOLA discussed how much other persons would charge for receiving funds
on behalf of ABBAS.
123. On January 14, 2020, after learning the Victim Businessperson agreed
to pay additional money, ABBAS again asked FASHOLA for an account to
receive additional funds. FASHOLA stated she was waiting for the person to send
full account details. At around that same time, Coconspirator 5—a relative of
FASHOLA—sent ABBAS the account information for a bank account of a person
referred to herein as “Coconspirator 6” at TD Bank (the “Coconspirator 6 TD Bank
Account”).
124. Also, on January 14, 2020, ABBAS asked AGBABIAKA if he could
use the AGBABIAKA Capital One Account again for “100k.” AGBABIAKA
agreed.
125. Later that day, ABBAS sent JUMA the account information for the
AGBABIAKA Capital One Account and the Coconspirator 6 TD Bank Account,
including the names of the accountholders, the account numbers, the routing
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numbers, and the SWIFT codes. Shortly thereafter, JUMA sent the account
information to the Victim Businessperson, and, about 30 minutes later, the Victim
Businessperson sent the account information to ABBAS. ABBAS then confirmed
to the Victim Businessperson that these were the accounts s/he should use.
126. Over the next several days, ABBAS and JUMA each kept in frequent
contact with the Victim Businessperson as s/he attempted to raise funds to pay the
purported taxes. Then, on February 4, 2020, JUMA told the Victim
Businessperson to send money to Okatch, in Kenya. Between approximately
February 5 and 10, 2020, the Victim Businessperson sent $299,983.58 to the bank
account of Okatch in seven separate transactions.
127. On February 10, 2020, JUMA told ABBAS that the money had been
sent to Nairobi and would be available the next day. At approximately the same
time, ABBAS asked AGBABIAKA if her Capital One Bank account was still
available for him to send money, which AGBABIAKA confirmed it would be.
128. On February 12, 2020, JUMA told ABBAS that because JUMA had
not received money from the $330,000 sent by the Victim Businessperson (which
ABBAS used to purchase the Richard Mille watch and St. Kitts citizenship, among
other laundering), everything was balanced out with this second $300,000 sent to
him. After arguing about the amounts that the Victim Businessperson had agreed
to pay, ABBAS sent JUMA photographs showing documents relating to several
loans ABBAS took out from a watch company located in Dubai (the “Dubai Watch
Company”). One of the photographs indicated that ABBAS put up a “RM1103
Full gold Titanium” watch as collateral. (ABBAS’ loans from the Dubai Watch
Company, and attempts to repay them, are described below in paragraphs 166 to
178.)
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4. After Consulting with JUMA, ABBAS Arranged to Have
KYARI Imprison CHIBUZO in Nigeria in Retaliation for,
and to Prevent Him from, Trying to Coopt the Victim
Businessperson
129. As discussed in paragraph 120, JUMA and ABBAS had a falling out
with CHIBUZO after CHIBUZO felt that he was being underpaid (or had not been
paid) for work on the fake Wells Fargo website, and then contacted the Victim
Businessperson directly. ABBAS then arranged to have KYARI arrest and
imprison CHIBUZO in Nigeria for attempting to redirect fraudulent proceeds
intended for ABBAS and JUMA to himself, to keep CHIBUZO from interfering
with the scheme. This section discusses those events and KYARI’s involvement in
the conspiracy.
130. On January 13, 2020, the Victim Businessperson contacted JUMA
about a person who had contacted the Victim Businessperson about the loan,
stating “This number is calling me but I didn’t answer.” The Victim
Businessperson also provided JUMA a screenshot of and forwarded additional
conversations between the Victim Businessperson and CHIBUZO, who was using
the U.S. phone number 3054405586. That phone number was the same phone
number used by CHIBUZO to send ABBAS information about the fake Wells
Fargo website described earlier. In the messages, CHIBUZO sent the Victim
Businessperson’s passport, and claimed to be “trying to help” the Victim
Businessperson.
131. JUMA forwarded these messages from the Victim Businessperson to
ABBAS, who responded, “I will deal with him.” At approximately the same time,
ABBAS asked CHIBUZO for a phone number on which to call him. Two minutes
later, ABBAS sent the phone number on which he contacted CHIBUZO (which
CHIBUZO had previously also sent to ABBAS) to KYARI without providing any
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additional context. Just before forwarding the phone number to KYARI, ABBAS
placed a nearly five-minute call to KYARI, using the phone number described in
paragraph 136.
132. A short time later, ABBAS told JUMA, “setting him up already [¶] He
will learn.” JUMA replied, “He almost messed it up bro,” to which ABBAS
responded “They are working on it already.”
133. Approximately an hour later, CHIBUZO responded to ABBAS’
message requesting his phone number by providing another phone number.
ABBAS also sent this number to KYARI without providing any additional context
in the message.
134. On January 15, 2020, this time using WhatsApp, ABBAS sent an
audio recording to KYARI, stating, essentially, that he wanted to remind KYARI
about what they discussed earlier.
135. On January 16, 2020, ABBAS sent the following threats to
CHIBUZO:
I dey always tell people to think well before they offend
me and make them make sure they fit stand the
consequences when the time comes. I won’t say more
than that but very soon, very very soon, the wrath of my
hands shall find you and when it does, it will damage you
forever
At this point I no get discussion with you, u have
committed a crime that won’t be forgiven, that is
punishable and you shall receive die punishment in due
time I swear with my life you will regret messing with
me, you will even wish you died before my hands will
touch you.
136. Also on January 16, 2020, ABBAS sent a message to KYARI on
WhatsApp, and then placed five calls to another phone number (+2348060733588)
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that was listed as “ABBA KYARI.” Call records show that the last three of the
calls were answered and that one of the calls lasted more than two minutes.
Shortly after that, ABBAS received a message from KYARI, confirming “We
would pick him today or tomorrow.” ABBAS wrote, “I will take care of the team
also after they pick him up.” KYARI confirmed “Yes ooo.”
a. Based on the conversation described in paragraphs 143 to 145,
ABBAS planned to pay the Nigeria Police Force officers who arrested CHIBUZO
for that service.
b. This was not the only time that ABBAS arranged payments
with KYARI. On May 20, 2020, ABBAS sent KYARI transaction receipts for two
transactions from accounts at Nigerian banks (GTBank and Zenith Bank) of a
person ABBAS knew in the U.A.E.—a person also arrested with ABBAS in
ABBAS’ apartment in the U.A.E. by Dubai Police on June 9, 2020—to the
Nigerian bank accounts of another person in Nigeria. The amounts on the
transaction receipts totaled 8 million Nigerian Naira, which was approximately
$20,600 based on publicly available exchange rate information.
137. Attempting to reason with ABBAS, on January 18, 2020, CHIBUZO
recounted for ABBAS all the assistance he had provided in the scheme to victimize
the Victim Businessperson, including creating the “power of attorney” document
(see paragraphs 67–68), devising a story to tell the Victim Businessperson (see
paragraph 117), and facilitating the creation of the “telephone banking” number
(see paragraphs 109–116) and fake Wells Fargo website (see paragraph 117).
138. As discussed in paragraph 32.b, on January 20, 2020, KYARI sent to
ABBAS biographical, identifying information for CHIBUZO, along with a
photograph of him. In a conversation immediately following, ABBAS confirmed
“that is him sir.” KYARI stated, “We have arrested the guy . . . He is in my Cell
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now [¶] This is his picture after we arrested him today.” (The below image is a
cropped version of the photograph that KYARI sent to ABBAS.)
139. KYARI sent the biographical information about, and photograph of,
CHIBUZO to ABBAS using two different WhatsApp numbers—the second of
which KYARI said was his “private number.” From that point on, KYARI and
ABBAS primarily discussed the arrest and detention of KYARI through WhatsApp
on this “private number.”
140. After receiving the photograph of CHIBUZO, ABBAS stated, “I want
him to go through serious beating of his life.” KYARI responded, “Hahahaha,”
and ABBAS replied, “Seriously sir.” KYARI then asked for details about what
CHIBUZO did “on audio,” which KYARI said was “So that we will know what to
do.”
141. In response to KYARI’s question about what CHIBUZO had done to
ABBAS, ABBAS sent KYARI an audio message, which is transcribed here,
describing how CHIBUZO had tried to steal away a fraud victim (i.e., “the job”)
from him:
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What he did is, I have one job. The job want to pay me
500, umm, 75,000 dollars [i.e., $575,000]. He went to
message the job behind me because I told him to help me
make one document for me to give the job. Then he
went—he has a—I gave him the details. Then he went to
message the job behind my back and try to divert the
money and in this process he tell the job because of the
documents he gave me that I gave the job, he tell the job,
“These document they sent to you before. These people
are fake. This money—is me who can help you to get it.
Come to me le—bring this money you want to pay these
people to me. I’m the only one who can help you,” and
all these things to divert the job for himself.
142. After listening to the message, KYARI wrote, “Ok I understand [¶]
But he has not succeeded.” ABBAS claimed CHIBUZO had taken some money,
and provided KYARI with two screenshots, one of which contained the phone
number 3054405586 (the phone number CHIBUZO used to contact the Victim
Businessperson). The screenshots showed a person contacting the Victim
Businessperson and stating that he was providing information to try to “help[]” the
Victim Businessperson. KYARI responded, “Yeah I understand.” KYARI did not
request other information or evidence relating to CHIBUZO’s role in the scheme,
ask questions about the nature of the transaction, or ask about why CHIBUZO told
the Victim Businessperson that ABBAS was “fake.”
143. ABBAS then told KYARI, “Now the [Victim Businessperson] was
skeptic to pay me the money cos he keep attacking the [Victim Businessperson]
from his end. Now I can handle the [Victim Businessperson] correctly.” ABBAS
further told KYARI that he wanted to pay money to send CHIBUZO to jail for a
long time, stating “Please sir I want to spend money to send this boy to jail, let him
go for a very long time.” KYARI responded, “Ok bro [¶] I understand [¶] I will
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discuss with my team who arrested him . . . And handling the case [¶] We will do
something about it.”
144. ABBAS responded, “Let me know how I can send money to the team
sir[.] let them deal with him like armed robber.” KYARI responded, “OK I will
send their account details to u.” ABBAS further wrote, “He betray me and try to
take food out my mouth, this is great punishable sin,” and KYARI responded,
“Yeah bro.” ABBAS then continued, “I want him to suffer for many years.”
KYARI responded, “Hahahaha [¶] Hahahaha.”
145. Approximately six minutes later, KYARI provided the account
information for a bank account at a Nigerian bank, Zenith Bank, in the name of a
person other than KYARI himself. ABBAS responded “Ok sir, tomorrow by
noon,” indicating that he would make the payment to KYARI’s team by the next
day.
146. On the same day, ABBAS sent JUMA the photograph of CHIBUZO
in custody, which KYARI had sent.
147. Approximately a month later, on February 19, 2020, KYARI sent a
message to ABBAS, saying, “Hello hush with [sic] need to talk about the subject
under detention with me.” ABBAS asked “Should I call u on this number sir?” to
which KYARI replied “Yes call me.”
148. The following day, KYARI sent ABBAS multiple photographs of
CHIBUZO to ABBAS, including close-up photographs showing a rash or skin
disease on CHIBUZO’s torso and arms. ABBAS responded, “I don pity am, make
them leave am from Tuesday.” KYARI wrote, “Ok bro, they just brought him
from hospital. The fever and the rashes is giving him serious Wahala [¶] He got the
disease from other suspects in the cell.” ABBAS responded, “I see am, I no too
pity am [¶] That’s what people like him deserve but I go forgive am for God sake.”
In other words, based on my training and experience with Nigerian Pidgin,
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ABBAS was essentially stating, in part, “I don’t pity him. That’s what people like
him deserve, but I will forgive him for God’s sake.”
a. Based on the date of the messages and later discussion
described in paragraph 150, ABBAS was—on Thursday, February 20, 2020—
requesting that KYARI not to release CHIBUZO until Tuesday, February 25,
2020.
149. ABBAS then told KYARI that CHIBUZO’s girlfriend messaged him,
trying to raise one million Naira to secure CHIBUZO’s release, and said ABBAS
promised to contribute 100,000 Naira. KYARI stated “They were thinking it’s
normal arrest that is why they think money can remove him . . . No money can
remove him here [¶] Hahahaha.” ABBAS added, “But it’s better for them to think
that way, I like it like that,” and KYARI responded, “Yeah.”
150. ABBAS then said, “No problem sir from Tuesday he can go,”
apparently giving KYARI his blessing to release CHIBUZO from custody.
KYARI responded, “Ok bro [¶] We will also keep his phone and other gadgets for
some weeks.” ABBAS responded, “Yes those ones they should not give him
again, those ones are gone . . . Make he no see those ones again for life,”
instructing KYARI not to return CHIBUZO’s electronic devices. KYARI
responded, “Yes he will not see it [¶] Again,” indicating that he would accede to
ABBAS’ request.
5. ABBAS Defrauded the Victim Businessperson of an
Additional $180,000
151. On February 14, 2020—shortly after JUMA had told ABBAS that he
would not share the $299,983.58 that he had received from the Victim
Businessperson with ABBAS—the Victim Businessperson confided in ABBAS,
who was still pretending to be “Malik” the Wells Fargo banker, that s/he believed
JUMA had been scamming her/him. ABBAS claimed to be surprised and falsely
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promised to help her/him. ABBAS then defrauded the Victim Businessperson of
an additional $180,000, conspiring with AGBABIAKA, Coconspirator 5, and
Coconspirator 6. This section describes this portion of the fraud scheme.
152. On February 14, 2020, the Victim Businessperson confided to
ABBAS that s/he had lost more than $1,000,000 in the fraud scheme, and wrote, “I
know that you think I am stupid but I trusted [JUMA] and now I’m going
bankrupt.” ABBAS—as “Malik”—responded, “Wow ყ, over one million?,” and
falsely promised to try to help the Victim Businessperson.
153. ABBAS then claimed to have spoken to his supervisor who was
willing to reduce the amount the Victim Businessperson would need to pay to
$180,000, provided that the Victim Businessperson agreed to keep their
discussions confidential.
154. On February 15 and 16, 2020, JUMA asked ABBAS if he had spoken
to the Victim Businessperson or was planning anything. In response, ABBAS
made it seem like there was a “hold up” because they could not afford the “tools”
to show the Victim Businessperson, in order to convince him/her to send them
more money.
155. However, at approximately this same time, ABBAS was conversing
with the Victim Businessperson, disparaging JUMA and stating that JUMA had
stolen the funds he was supposed to send to ABBAS to release the Victim
Businessperson’s purported loan. ABBAS also told the Victim Businessperson to
“try and get the $180,000 sent before the end of the month and [JUMA] will be put
to shame and God will deal with him also.”
156. On February 17, 2020, ABBAS provided the Victim Businessperson
with the account information for the AGBABIAKA Capital One Account and the
Coconspirator 6 TD Bank Account, telling him/her to send $100,000 and $80,000
to the accounts, respectively.
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157. On February 21 through February 25, 2020, the Victim
Businessperson sent messages to JUMA, saying “you have tricked me” and calling
JUMA a thief. However, the messages indicated that the Victim Businessperson
continued to trust and communicate with ABBAS. On March 1, 2020, the Victim
Businessperson sent to ABBAS additional communications s/he received from a
phone number in the United Kingdom, which was purportedly connected to
JUMA. ABBAS falsely told the Victim Businessperson, “I’m forwarding it my
boss so they can report it to the FBI . . . We are making a case for [JUMA]
already.” ABBAS then requested that the Victim Businessperson send him any
communications that the Victim Businessperson had with JUMA, “I am doing [sic]
to file them all and have the FBI start a case on it as soon as possible.”
a. On March 3, 2020, JUMA sent ABBAS a message stating the
Victim Businessperson had people calling the “Nairobi office,” saying they were
scammers. ABBAS replied, “That’s what happens when u leave a client hanging,
u take the money and no follow up. Gives the client time to think and involve
people.”
158. On March 1, 2020, within approximately ten minutes of telling the
Victim Businessperson that he would report JUMA to the FBI, ABBAS asked the
Victim Businessperson when the wire transfers totaling $180,000 would occur.
The Victim Businessperson responded that they would be completed by the next
day.
159. On March 2, 2020, the Victim Businessperson sent ABBAS
photographs of wire transfer confirmations, showing a wire transfer of $100,000 to
the AGBABIAKA Capital One Account and $80,000 to the Coconspirator 6 TD
Bank Account. Bank records from both accounts also confirmed the transactions.
160. On March 3, 2020, ABBAS sent the photograph of the transfer to the
Coconspirator 6 TD Bank Account to FASHOLA.
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161. On March 11, 2020, the Victim Businessperson contacted ABBAS to
confirm the money s/he sent had been received and to ask the next steps in the
process, so that s/he could finally receive the $15 million loan to build the
international school. ABBAS claimed to have gone to the IRS to pay the tax, and
said that his boss would be able to send the wire the following day.
162. On March 12, 2020, ABBAS told the Victim Businessperson that his
boss, an individual he said was named “Yousif,” would be contacting the Victim
Businessperson using the phone number 19294345705. FASHOLA provided this
phone number and a pin code to ABBAS approximately 10 minutes before
ABBAS sent that phone number to the Victim Businessperson.
163. At approximately the same time, the Victim Businessperson began
communicating with “Yousif” over WhatsApp. In these chat messages, “Yousif”
explained that the Victim Businessperson would need to pay additional “transfer
charges.” Shortly thereafter, the Victim Businessperson confronted ABBAS about
“Yousif” and the additional funds he was requesting, saying, “Sorry Mr Malik but
I’m not gonna pay more and I’m out of this game . . . I’ll will stop all my
communication with you . . . You are doing what exactly [JUMA] did . . . I’m now
100% sure that you and [JUMA] and Yosif [sic] and [Coconspirator 1] are all one
team.” Despite ABBAS’ protestations, the Victim Businessperson did not
communicate with ABBAS, JUMA, or “Yousif” after March 12, 2020.
i. ABBAS, FASHOLA, and AGBABIAKA Laundered the
$180,000 Received from the Victim Businessperson
164. Bank records show that the $180,000 received from the Victim
Businessperson were laundered in a variety of ways, including through cash
withdrawals and cashier’s checks. Ultimately, based on messages and photographs
sent and received by ABBAS, it appears that much of the funds that ABBAS
received went to paying the Dubai Watch Company, in an effort to receive back
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the Richard Mille watch that he had collateralized in loans. ABBAS received the
watch back, but then provided it back to the Dubai Watch Company while one of
the wire transfers was in the process of being cleared, and ultimately agreed to sell
the watch to pay his remaining debt. The laundering of the funds is described in
this section.
165. Bank records show that much of the $100,000 sent to the
AGBABIAKA Capital One Account was withdrawn within a few days.
Specifically, a $50,000 cashier’s check made payable to “BOLATITO T
AGBABIAKA” was purchased on March 3, 2020, and there were also cash
withdrawals of $15,000 on March 3, 2020, $10,000 on March 5, 2020, and $7,000
on March 7, 2020. Records from the AGBABIAKA TD Bank Account showed
that the $50,000 cashier’s check was deposited into the account on March 3, 2020.
166. ABBAS sent a message to an employee of the Dubai Watch Company
(the “Dubai Watch Seller”) on March 2, 2020, asking for account details to where
he could wire transfer funds, and stating, “My sister have capital one bank.”
a. In at least one other messaging conversation, ABBAS referred
to AGBABIAKA as his “sister.”
167. On March 4, 2020, the Dubai Watch Seller provided a photograph
showing bank account details for accounts at Emirates NBD Bank and National
Bank of Fujairah. ABBAS sent the image to both AGBABIAKA and
Coconspirator 5.
168. Approximately seven hours later AGBABIAKA sent ABBAS a
photograph of a wire transfer confirmation from the AGBABIAKA TD Bank
Account, showing a wire transfer of $50,000 to the Dubai Watch Company’s
account at Emirates NBD Bank. (Bank records from the AGBABIAKA TD Bank
Account confirm this transaction.) ABBAS then sent that photograph to the Dubai
Watch Seller.
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169. On March 5, 2020, ABBAS sent a photograph to the Dubai Watch
Seller of a second wire transfer of $50,025 from the Coconspirator 6 TD Bank
Account.
170. On March 5, 2020, ABBAS sent a screenshot of his messaging
conversation with the Dubai Watch Seller to FASHOLA, telling her “Bola [i.e.,
AGBABIAKA] sent 50k to the watch guy, New York did 50k to him too, I owe
54k balance now to get my watch back.” ABBAS then noted how he had not been
posting to social media because people would be expecting him to be wearing his
watch, stating, “people started talking that I didn’t buy the watch[, that] I just used
someone[’s] watch for a few days and returned it [¶] Can u imagine[?].”
171. Over the next few days, after confirming AGBABIAKA’s wire
transfer had arrived, ABBAS frequently checked with the Dubai Watch Seller to
see if the wire from the Coconspirator 6 TD Bank Account had arrived. ABBAS
was able to retrieve his watch from the Dubai Watch Company and, on March 9,
2020, sent FASHOLA a video of him wearing it again, and a message saying, “U
know God is so good.”
172. On March 9, 2020, the Dubai Watch Seller sent ABBAS an audio
message requesting that ABBAS send the SWIFT confirmation number for the
wire transfer from the Coconspirator 6 TD Bank Account. ABBAS then sent a
message to Coconspirator 5 requesting this information. A few hours later,
FASHOLA sent a message to ABBAS providing photographs of the wire
confirmation documents showing the transfer from the Coconspirator 6 TD Bank
Account, stating “[Coconspirator 5] said to send you this.” ABBAS then sent a
photograph of the wire transfer confirmation to the Dubai Watch Seller.
173. On March 12, 2020, the Dubai Watch Seller complained to ABBAS
that he still had not received the wire transfer from the Coconspirator 6 TD Bank
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Account. ABBAS offered to return the watch while the wire transfer was being
straightened out.
174. Later that day, Coconspirator 5 sent ABBAS a screenshot from the
Coconspirator 6 TD Bank Account showing a return of funds in the amount of
$49,987. ABBAS then sent the screenshot to the Dubai Watch Seller.
175. In a conversation with ABBAS on March 12, 2020, FASHOLA stated
that the address used in the wire transfer order was wrong and said, “they will
resend it.” On March 13, 2020, Coconspirator 5 sent ABBAS a photograph of a
wire transfer confirmation the Coconspirator 6 TD Bank Account—this time for
$40,025. ABBAS then sent that photograph to the Dubai Watch Seller.
176. Over the coming days, ABBAS again checked with the Dubai Watch
Seller to see if the funds had been received. On March 19, 2020, the Dubai Watch
Seller stated that his bank told him that the wrong IBAN number was written in the
transfer so the money would probably be sent back again.
177. On March 21, 2020, ABBAS sent an audio message to the Dubai
Watch Seller stating the money was back in the United States. ABBAS stated that,
due to COVID-19, no one was able to get to the bank to send the wire again.
ABBAS again gave the Dubai Watch Seller his watch as collateral on about April
2, 2020.
a. Records for the Coconspirator 6 TD Bank Account confirmed
the two aforementioned attempted outbound wire transfers and recalls. The
records revealed that, between March 3 and 27, 2020, $67,467.46 was withdrawn
from the account in seven cash withdrawals.
178. On April 26, 2020, ABBAS asked the Dubai Watch Seller to put the
Richard Mille watch up for sale for $230,000, but suggested in other
communications that he would accept a price as low as $190,000.
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IV. CONCLUSION
179. Based on the foregoing, there is probable cause to believe that
ABBAS, JUMA, CHIBUZO, KYARI, FASHOLA, and AGBABIAKA
participated in a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain and launder money obtained
from the Victim Businessperson, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349 (Conspiracy to
Commit Wire Fraud) and 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) (Conspiracy to Engage in Money
Laundering):
a. ABBAS directly interacted with the Victim Businessperson,
falsely claiming to be a Wells Fargo banker named “Malik.” ABBAS also
orchestrated the receipt and laundering of funds from the Victim Businessperson to
and through bank accounts in the United States, as well as the creation and use of
the Canoga Park Wells Fargo Account. ABBAS ultimately received the proceeds
of the fraud scheme in a variety of ways, including as cash into the Nigerian bank
account of another person, purchase of a luxury Richard Mille watch, and purchase
of St. Kitts citizenship and a passport. After the Victim Businessperson began to
suspect that JUMA had defrauded him/her, ABBAS purported to work with the
Victim Businessperson to report JUMA’s fraudulent conduct to the FBI, but, in
reality, defrauded the Victim Businessperson out of additional funds, which
ABBAS then laundered.
b. JUMA worked closely with ABBAS to defraud the Victim
Businessperson, interacting directly with the Victim Businessperson and directing
the Victim Businessperson to make payments to bank accounts in the United States
and Kenya. In particular, JUMA received initial payments from the Victim
Businessperson and then involved ABBAS in the fraud scheme. JUMA received
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and laundered the money that the Victim Businessperson sent to the Okatch bank
account in Kenya.
c. CHIBUZO interacted directly with ABBAS, as he worked with
ABBAS and JUMA to create various artifices—including a fraudulent website and
“phone banking” system—that would induce the Victim Businessperson to make
additional payments to the coconspirators. CHIBUZO was to be compensated by
ABBAS for his involvement in the scheme. At one point, CHIBUZO felt that he
was not being paid enough or in a timely manner, and contacted the Victim
Businessperson directly, saying that ABBAS and JUMA had scammed the Victim
Businessperson, in an attempt to get the Victim Businessperson to make future
fraudulent payments to CHIBUZO and not to ABBAS and JUMA.
d. KYARI, a Deputy Commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force,
arranged the arrest of CHIBUZO at the request of ABBAS to prevent CHIBUZO
from interfering in the scheme defrauding the Victim Businessperson. KYARI had
CHIBUZO held in custody for a month and also facilitated payments from ABBAS
to the Nigeria Police Force personnel who arrested CHIBUZO, in order to ensure
CHIBUZO’s continued arrest, thereby preventing CHIBUZO from notifying the
Victim Businessperson of ABBAS’ and JUMA’s fraudulent scheme and
preventing CHIBUZO from hijacking the scheme for his own benefit. KYARI’s
knowing involvement in the scheme allowed ABBAS and JUMA to continue
defrauding the Victim Businessperson undetected and receive money obtained
from the Victim Businessperson after it was laundered.
e. FASHOLA and AGBABIAKA knowingly assisted ABBAS in
receiving money from the Victim Businessperson into bank accounts in the United
States and then laundering the funds received in a variety of ways, including
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through cash withdrawals, wire transfers, use of illicit money exchangers, and
purchases of items and other things of value.

ANDREW JOHN INNOCENTI
Special Agent,
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Attested to by the applicant in
accordance with the requirements of
Fed. R. Crim. P. 4.1 by telephone on
February 12, 2021.
THE HONORABLE PATRICIA DONAHUE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Case 2:21-cr-00203-ODW Document 1 Filed 02/12/21 Page 69 of 69 Page ID #:69

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