How Nigerian Man Defrauded US Banks 6 Million Dollars, Faces 30 Years Jail Term

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A Nigerian man, Ahmed Ponle, has pleaded guilty to opening and using 470 fake bank accounts to defraud American banks.

The 42-year-old prolific fraudster pleaded guilty to a bank fraud charge at the US District Court, District of New Jersey, in April last year, according to court documents seen our correspondent.

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He faces as much as 30 years jail time for an offence involving defrauding at least 10 American banks with nearly $6 million exposure.

The district court judge, Noel Hillman, has now scheduled Mr Ponle’s sentencing for 20 January, after series of adjournments since the defendant’s guilty plea last year.

US investigators revealed in court documents that Mr Ponle used suspected fraudulent foreign passports bearing fake American visas to open approximately 470 bank accounts at various American banks’ branches in various states.

The fraudulent passports bearing his image but with fake names were said to include West African, Kenyan, and Senegalese passports.


He used from a pool of tens of fake names to open the different accounts which also bore his photograph.

According to US investigators, the acounts had a total exposure of almost $5.7 million, implying the amount the victim banks could have lost to the scam that went on for nearly four years.


“I want to plead guilty pursuant to this plea agreement,” Mr Ponle stated in a letter he signed on 15 August 2021 after reviewing the plea agreement he entered into with the US government with his lawyer Caroline Cinquanto.

On 7 April 2022, he and his lawyer signed an application for the court’s permission to plead guilty.

“My lawyer has also explained to me, and I understand, that if I plead guilty, I waive my right not to incriminate myself and I will have to acknowledge my guilt as charged by setting forth my actions so that the judge is satisfied that I am, indeed, guilty,” he stated.

The US government confirmed in the plea agreement filed in court on 7 August 2022, that Mr Ponle cooperated with authorities in investigating his case.

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About Wisdom Nwedene 11571 Articles
Wisdom Nwedene studied English Language at Ebonyi State University. He is a writer, an editor and has equally interviewed many top Nigerian Politicians and celebrities. For publication of your articles, press statements, contact him via email: nwedenewisdom@gmail.com

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