E.R.R

E.R.R

Friday, April 28, 2017

Nigerian Suspect Bernard Ogie Oretekor charged with theft in 2014 UNI data breach

Forty-five-year-old Bernard Ogie Oretekor has been charged with theft of government property and aggravated identity theft.
Recently filed court documents say he intends to plead guilty to the Iowa charges and has consented to transferring the Iowa charges to federal court in California. Authorities linked Oretekor to the Iowa data theft after seizing his computers in 2014 in connection with a separate investigation in California.
Federal authorities in Tennessee and Michigan also plan to file charges against Oretekor.

 




CEDAR FALLS, Ia — A 45-year-old man is facing federal theft charges related to a data breach at the University of Northern Iowa that was discovered in 2014.
Bernard Ogie Oretekor has been charged with theft of government property and aggravated identity theft, The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported.
More than 100 UNI employees reported having their tax returns rejected in 2014 because someone had fraudulently filed a return on their behalf and collected their refund.
Authorities linked Oretekor to the UNI data theft after seizing his computers in 2014 in connection with a separate investigation in California.
He's still in custody in Santa Clara, California, facing charges related to the theft of $312,115 from a couple's investment account. He hasn't yet appeared in court on the University of Northern Iowa case, and court records don't list an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
The charges in Iowa are result of a forensic investigation of Oretekor's computers that was done last year. Names, birthdays and Social Security numbers of UNI employees were found on the computers.
Investigators found evidence that Oretekor had used another individual's identity to claim a 2013 tax refund of $9,850 and received the money in February 2014.
Court documents say Oretekor is a Nigerian citizen who had applied for U.S. citizenship, and he was living in Ellenwood, Georgia, at the time of his arrest.

Owner of Durable Medical Equipment Company Emeka Chijioke Indicted For $2M Fraud in USA

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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Owner of Durable Medical Equipment Company Indicted For Health Care Fraud and Related Offenses

Defendant Accused of Billing D.C. Medicaid for Supplies That Were Not Provided

            WASHINGTON – Emeka H. Chijioke, 40, formerly of Atlanta, Ga., and Nigeria, has been indicted on charges alleging that he schemed to defraud the District of Columbia’s Medicaid program out of more than $2 million.

            The indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Andrew Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Nicholas DiGiulio, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), for the region that includes Washington, D.C.

            The indictment was unsealed on April 7, 2017, and Chijioke pled not guilty at his arraignment last week. A status hearing in the case has been set for April 19 before the Honorable Senior Judge Paul L. Friedman.

            Chijioke was arrested in December 2016 in Germany and extradited to the United States last week. The 21-count indictment charges him with one count of health care fraud, nine counts of making false statements related to health care matters, seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of engaging in a monetary transaction with proceeds of specified unlawful activity in an amount greater than $10,000, and one count of first-degree theft. The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation seeking all proceeds that can be traced to the fraud scheme.

            According to the indictment, Chijioke was the majority owner, registered agent, and chief executive officer of Mead Medical Group, LLC, a durable medical equipment company organized in Maryland. Mead Medical provided medical equipment supplies, including incontinence supplies and garments, to District of Columbia Medicaid recipients.

            As alleged in the indictment, from 2008 through 2012, Chijioke engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicaid out of more than $2 million and unjustly enriched himself by billing Medicaid for incontinence supplies that were not provided. The indictment alleges that Chijioke used some of the proceeds from his fraudulent scheme to purchase vehicles. According to the indictment, Chijioke instructed his office staff to contact the Medicaid recipients to determine from them the actual amount of incontinence supplies they needed, and to provide them with those supplies. At the same time, the indictment alleges, Chijioke hired a billing company to submit claims to the Medicaid contractor as if the maximum amount of supplies were provided to the recipients rather than the actual amount supplied. By arranging for the maximum amount of incontinence supplies to be billed, rather than the amount actually provided, Chijioke obtained money which he was not entitled to receive from Medicaid.

            An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

            In announcing the charges, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Assistant Director in Charge Vale, and Special Agent in Charge DiGiulio expressed appreciation for the work performed by Special Agents from the FBI and HHS OIG. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who are working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Lucas of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section; Assistant U.S. Attorney Kondi Kleinman of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section; former Assistant U.S. Attorney Lionel André; Paralegal Specialists Christopher Toms and Jessica Mundi; former Paralegal Specialists Corinne Kleinman and Kaitlyn Kruger, and Litigation Technology Specialist Claudia Gutierrez. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Cheatham, who investigated the case and obtained the indictment.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/pr/owner-durable-medical-equipment-company-indicted-health-care-fraud-and-related-offenses

Monday, June 20, 2016

Iceland deports Boko Haram victim from Nigeria


World Refugee Day: Meet the Nigerian who was kicked out of Iceland and now remains in limbo in Sweden over deportation.

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Eze Okafor, 32, lived in Iceland for four years before being deported [Marie-Helene Carleton/Al Jazeera]
Eze Okafor, 32, lived in Iceland for four years before being deported [Marie-Helene Carleton/Al Jazeera]
Stockholm, Sweden - As Eze sat in the pew at a church where he goes most mornings to pray, his phone buzzed with a new message. His Icelandic teacher was checking in on him, giving him support.
A calm and composed man, Eze began to cry, the emotion intensifying as he continued to read. His friends in Iceland were standing with him, the message said, they would fight for him.
Eze Okafor, 32, had been living in Iceland for the last four years, working as a cook in a local restaurant, learning the Icelandic language, building a community.
"Iceland is my home now. I have contributed to the society here. Many people know me. My friends have become my family," he told Al Jazeera.
Eze fled Nigera after being targeted by Boko Haram. In 2010, he and his younger brother, Okwy, were attacked in retaliation for not joining the armed group. "They tried to recruit me, but I refused."
Members of Boko Haram stormed their house in Maiduguri, Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria. Eze was stabbed in the head and face. Okwy was killed.
Eze's brother was killed by Boko Haram [Marie-Helene Carleton/Al Jazeera]
Soon after, Eze fled Nigeria and made a long and dangerous boat journey to Europe, where in 2011 he sought asylum in Sweden. He told his story and showed his still fresh and infected wounds, including the gash over his eye, which he feared would cost him his eyesight. He was denied asylum and made his way to Iceland.
He applied for asylum in Iceland in 2012 but was denied.
He has been working with a lawyer, Katrin Theodorsdottir, who then applied for permission for Eze to stay in Iceland on humanitarian grounds, as his case has slowly made its way through the system. Eze said that in October he was given temporary residency and could work.  
His case in Iceland has hinged on what time limit is relevant to his asylum request, as defined by Article 19 of the Dublin Regulation, which determines which European Union member state is responsible for asylum seekers.
Article 19 lays out a timeframe of six months within which an asylum seeker must be sent back to the country where they were originally asking for asylum, otherwise the current country is responsible for processing their asylum case.
After many rejections, appeals and back and forths between various immigration authorities, Theodorsdottir said there was a "twist". A special immigration committee reviewing Eze's case said the time limit to send Eze back to Sweden might have expired, and advised him to go to the immigration office and have his application for asylum processed.

Eze went to the immigration office as instructed to pick up the paperwork, and was told to wait 45 minutes, which he did. According to Theodorsdottir, unbeknown to him, the police officer was calling the immigration office. And then another twist.
"The police said I should come to sign and all of a sudden they took me into custody. They arrested me. I spent the night in jail," Eze recalled.
"They next morning they said they were deporting me. I said I should go and get my stuff from my house. They said no. They took me to the airport and manhandled me.
"In Iceland, I have been integrated into society, with so many friends. A lot of people know me. So when the police was beating me, when I was arrested, there was a lot of reaction."
Early on May 26, Eze was put handcuffed on to a plane for deportation. Two members of the rights group No Borders Iceland boarded the plane and stood up in protest, asking other passengers to stand up as well to protest at Eze's deportation. After about 10 minutes, they were arrested by Icelandic police.
Eze was taken to Stockholm. At the airport, he thought the Icelandic authorities would give him back the only ID he had - his Nigerian driver's licence. They took it back to Iceland. He was handed papers by the Swedish immigration authorities, which gave him until June 1 to leave Sweden or be deported back to Nigeria.
He was also given a piece of paper saying that he had no right to financial assistance. Without money or any identification, he was turned out on to the street where he spent the first night.

Boko Haram is an continuing threat in Nigeria with members and supporters at all levels of government and the police, Ezer said. Several years ago, members of Boko Haram kidnapped his mother in what he said was a bid to force him to return to Nigeria. After brutalising her - including an attack to her face that compromised her eyesight - the kidnappers demanded a ransom.
"What I am facing in Nigeria is that this Islamic group is after my life. My life is in danger."
He said he believes that when he lands at the airport in Nigeria he fears he will be apprehended by the police. "Boko Haram has a network. They have been looking for me since then."
Today, Eze is uncertain about his future. He does know one thing for sure. If he were to return to Nigeria, he believes it would mean death for him.
With his friends, he is working hard to find a lawyer who can take his case in Sweden. His dream is to return to his home in Iceland.
Theodorsdottir said there is something the immigration office could do. She has requested that he be granted permission to live in Iceland on humanitarian grounds, a request that is still pending.
Eze said his mother, Celina, taught him how to cook at an early age and it is his passion. He loved working in the restaurant in Iceland and had a good relationship with his boss. He loves to cook Nigerian food. Maybe, he said, once he is back in Iceland, and his life has found balance again, he could pursue a dream. There is no Nigerian restaurant in Iceland.
"Maybe one day, when I am back in Iceland, I could open a restaurant", Eze said, smiling.
"When I was in handcuffs on my way to Sweden, I was pleading with them," Eze said. "I am not a criminal. I did not commit any crime. I am asking for refuge. They should treat me like a human."

Ex-Customs boss in hospital after arrest by EFCC


Former Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko, has been admitted in hospital following his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on charges of fraud.l
Alhaji Abdullahi Inde Dikkoplay
Alhaji Abdullahi Inde Dikko
 (Nigeria Online)

Former Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs ServiceAbdullahi Dikko, has been admitted in hospital following his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on charges of fraud.

The EFCC interrogated Dikko on Thursday, June 16, 2016, but couldn’t detain him due to his ill-health, Daily Trust reports.
Alhaji Abdullahi Inde Dikkoplay
Alhaji Abdullahi Inde Dikko
 (News Nigeria)

The former Customs boss is being investigated over the source of the funds with which he acquired his Abuja mansion.
“There is also a further allegation that he diverted over N40bn from Customs coffers. The funds were allegedly drawn from proceeds of the 7% cost of collection and 1% comprehensive import supervision scheme,” an EFCC source said.
The source also said that Dikko would expectedly be tried when his health gets better.
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