Nigerian Fraudster Sentenced To 12 Years For $1.4 Million Scam Targeting U.S. University

Daud Olatunji

A Nigerian businessman, Kolawole Erinle, has been handed a 12-year prison sentence for orchestrating a sophisticated fraud scheme that swindled the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) out of approximately $1,412,509.

Erinle, previously convicted in the United States, manipulated the university’s payment of $1.4 million to J.E. Dunn, a construction company, through deceptive email tactics and a counterfeit domain.

Erinle, using a spoofed email address and a fake domain name, rerouted the wire transfer to an account associated with his auto company, Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Limited.

 His fraudulent actions came to light in March 2019 when the funds were traced to his account. 

Erinle and his company were initially arraigned in March 2022, and the case was subsequently reassigned to Justice Oshodi in October 2022.

Despite pleading “not guilty,” Erinle’s trial unfolded with compelling evidence, including testimonies from four witnesses and various documents.

 It was revealed that Erinle had a prior conviction for bank fraud in the United States. On February 10, 2023, Justice Oshodi revoked Erinle’s bail for failing to meet the earlier granted conditions.

During the trial, Erinle admitted his ex-convict status in the U.S. and expressed remorse for his actions. 

However, the court found him and his company guilty as charged, emphasizing that his fraudulent actions were premeditated.

On September 26, 2023, Justice Oshodi sentenced Erinle to five years for one count and 12 years for another, to run concurrently starting from February 10, 2023. 

Additionally, Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Limited was fined N50 million and ordered to be dissolved by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), with the proceeds going to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The convicts were also directed to make restitution to their victim. Moreover, all properties and vehicles seized by the EFCC will be sold, with the proceeds applied toward restitution through the FBI, ensuring justice for the victim.

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