Nigeria: Court Extradites Ctizen to U.S. Over U.S.$30 Million Fraud

May 29, 2012

allAfrica.com on May 29, 2012 released the following:

“BY DAVIDSON IRIEKPEN

Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Lagos Monday granted the request of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), for one Mr. Godwin Chiedo Nzeocha, to be extradited to the United States of America to face criminal charges over an alleged $30 million Health Care Benefit Fund fraud.

Nzeocha, 54, worked with the City Nursing Services in Houston, Texas, US as a Physical Therapist Aide between 2007 and 2009.

In US, he was alleged to have conspired with others and submitted claims worth $45 million to the Medicare and Medicaid for health care services on behalf of some patients who were beneficiaries of the health insurance claims.

Nzeocha and his accomplices were paid $30 million but failed to remit the funds to the beneficiaries.

Consequently, he was dragged before a US District Court in the Southern District of Texas, Houston by the US Department of Justice on October 19, 2009 for offences bordering on conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, money laundering and mail fraud.

Rather than face his trial, Nzeocha fled to Nigeria. In his ruling, Justice Tsoho agreed with the prosecution that the extradition application was competent and that the alleged offences which are the basis of the extradition request are returnable offences.

He therefore ruled that accused be extradited to US to face trial within a period of one month. Nzeocha was arrested in June 2011 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following a petition from the Legal Attaché to the US Consular Office, Lagos, on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Part of his extradition charges read: “Conspiracy to commit health care fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, carrying penalty on conviction of a fine of up to $250,000, or imprisonment of not more than ten (10) years, or both; supervised released of not more than three years; a special assessment of $100.00 for each convicted offence.”

• Indictment with health care fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347, carrying penalty on conviction of a fine of up to $250,000, or imprisonment of (10) years, or both; supervised released of not more than three (3) years; and a special assessment of $100.000 for each convicted offence.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Nigeria here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Nigerian Accused of Defrauding US Law Firms Ordered to be Extradited to the US

July 27, 2011

Yesterday, a Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria granted an application by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, for the extradition of a Canada-based Nigerian, Emmanuel Ekhator, who is wanted in the United States for alleged criminal conducts.

Ekhator is wanted in the US over his alleged link with a group that defrauded some US law firms of about $29 million.

Justice Fatimat Nyako held that with the evidence provided by the prosecution, the court was convinced that Ekhator should be extradited to the US to stand trial on charges against him at the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The court ordered the US Embassy and the Federal Government to perfect his travel arrangement and ensure his extradition within 15 days.

The three-count charge marked 10-244 was part of documents from the US Department of State exhibited before the court by the prosecuting lawyer, Mr. Islam Hassan of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Ekhator, who is said to be a member of a syndicate that specializes in internet fraud, is accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, involvement in mail and wire frauds and money laundering. Most of the offenses are said to attract a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.

He was said to have evaded arrest in the US last year and escaped to Nigeria. The US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was said to have placed him on its watch list.

He was found in Benin, Edo State, where he was arrested earlier this year by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

EFCC, in a supporting affidavit to the extradition application, said Ekhator, who holds a Masters degree from the University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, resided in Canada with his wife, Nkechi.

The commission described Ekhator as the arrowhead of a ring of fraudsters operating between Canada, US and the Asian Peninsula. Allegedly, Ekhator and his gang defrauded about 70 US law firms of over $29 million between August 2008 and August 2010.

EFCC said its investigation revealed that Ekhator and his gang simply contacts law firms through e-mails, posing as potential clients, claiming to be representatives of foreign companies, seeking legal representation to help negotiate and collect, on their behalf, claims and settlement in cases like real estate transaction, divorce or torts.

This article was written by Erci Ikhilae and published by The Nation on July 27, 2011.

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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