News release originally published by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Louisiana

Three Nigerian Nationals Living in Grambling and Texas Plead Guilty to Roles in Marriage Fraud Scheme

Release Date: Oct. 17, 2018

MONROE, La.  United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that three Nigerian nationals living in Grambling and Texas have pleaded guilty Monday to roles in a scheme aimed at obtaining permanent residency illegally.

Adebisi Philip Bode Adejumo, 34, a Grambling, La., resident and Nigerian citizen; Godspower Raphael Sobaeh, 31, a Fort Worth, Texas, resident and Nigerian citizen; and Olabode Ebenezer Olubodun, 37, a Houston, Texas, resident and Nigerian citizen, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty to one count of conspiracy to make false statements in connection with immigration documents. Adejumo also pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents, Sobaeh to one count of marriage fraud, and Olubodun to one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents and mail fraud. In May, a federal grand jury returned a 42-count indictment charging 17 Nigerian and Cameroonian nationals living in Louisiana, Texas, New York and Maryland with the marriage fraud scheme. Sobaeh, Adejumo and Olubodun are the first to plead guilty. The court set sentencing for Feb. 6, 2019.

According to the indictment, from as late as June 2013 and continuing to 2018, the defendants, who were from Nigeria and Cameroon, used F-1 student and B-2 visitor visas to enter the United States. While here, they entered into fraudulent marriages to stay in the United States. They recruited and paid United States citizens to enter into sham marriages in order to evade immigration laws and procure immigration benefits to which they were not entitled. The defendants filled out immigration forms and supplemental documents using false information, and they forged immigration forms and supplemental documents that they mailed to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They also attended USCIS interviews where they made false statements under oath in an effort to evade immigration laws.

All the defendants were charged with one count of conspiracy to make false statements in connection with immigration documents, to commit mail fraud, to commit marriage fraud, and to commit aggravated identity theft. For the remaining defendants, charges and a list of the defendants, see the information below:

John Femi Egunjobi, 34, a Grambling resident and Nigerian citizen, was charged with 12 counts of making false statements in connection with immigration documents, nine counts of mail fraud and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft.

Talatu Helen Dada, 38, a Ruston, La., resident and Nigerian citizen, was charged with one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents, one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Oludayo Folarin Olayinka, 38, a Midland, Texas, resident and Nigerian citizen, was charged with one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents, one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

James Ojo Ayodele, 49, a Ruston resident and Nigerian citizen, was charged with one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Precillia Asabe Dada, 53, a Ruston resident and Nigerian citizen, was charged with one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents, one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Landry Djeiya Tchokogue, 29, a Houston resident and Cameroon citizen, was charged with one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents, one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Cedric Gaetan Simou Meughu, 32, a Hyattsville, Md., resident and Cameroon citizen, was charged with one count of marriage fraud.

Martin Boris Takam Sagoua, 33, a Vineyard Haven, Md., resident and Cameroon citizen, was charged with one count of marriage fraud.

Cecilia Joseph Akpan, 55, a Huntington Station, N. Y., resident and Nigerian citizen, was charged with one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents, one count of mail fraud, one count of marriage fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Tiimaro Smart Ekanem, 26, a Ruston resident and Nigerian citizen, was only charged with the conspiracy count.

Abiola Esther Olaniyi, 26, a Dallas, Texas, resident and Nigerian citizen, was charged with one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents, one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Paul Allele Edeki, 40, a Houston resident and Nigerian citizen, was charged with one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents, one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. 

Funmilade I. Oyetunji, 26, a Katy, Texas, resident and Nigerian citizen, was charged with one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents, one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

And Olorunwa James Akinseloyin, 41, a Ruston resident and Nigerian citizen, was charged with one count of making false statements in connection with immigration documents and one count of aggravated identity theft.

The defendants face up to five years in prison for the conspiracy count, 10 years in prison for the false statements count, 20 years in prison for the mail fraud count, five years in prison for the marriage fraud count and two years in prison for the identity theft count. They also face restitution, forfeiture, three to five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for each count. The remaining defendants are scheduled to face trial Feb. 11, 2019.

Homeland Security Investigations Shreveport, USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Marshals Service, Louisiana State Police-CIU, Louisiana State Police Narcotics, Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office, Shreveport Police Department and Bossier City Marshals Office investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tiffany E. Fields and Earl M. Campbell are prosecuting the case.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook(/uscis).  

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