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Nigerian airline ticket fraudster gets 8 years

Scammer earns one-way trip - after stealing over $400,000

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A West African fraudster has been jailed for more than eight years over his role in an airline ticket scam following his extradition to the US back in June.

Ademola Ismaila Adegoke, 43, a Nigerian-born resident of Accra, Ghana, was jailed for 102 months on Friday after he was convicted of using stolen credit card numbers to steal more than $400,000 from US citizens. Adegoke, who agreed to pay $696,026 in restitution, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in July.

US District Court Judge Liam O’Grady further ordered Adegoke to serve two years on probation following his release.

According to court documents, Adegoke used faxed copies of counterfeit passports and drivers licences as well as Photoshopped images of stolen credit card numbers transposed over a blank card to fool North american travel agents and airlines into supplying him with tickets. The fraudster used VoIP services to pretend he was calling from the US when, in reality, he was working from a cyber cafes in Ghana.

He would then buy more tickets before selling these on to customers, charging a fraction of their true value. Adegoke purchased the stolen credit cards from underground hacking forums. In all, the fraudster purchased more than 5,000 stolen credit card numbers, which he used to finance $400,000 in fraudulent transactions.

Adegoke was arrested by local police in Ghana back in May before his deportation to the US in late June. It seems that the fraudster's unwise decision to scam airlines and potentially facilitate the movement of dodgy people with fake travel documents earned him the special attention of US authorities, along with fast-track deportation and a much more severe sentence than might otherwise have been the case.

This case was investigated by the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, the US Secret Service and the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority. A statement on the case can be found here. ®

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