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5 Kenyans indicted in scam targeting agencies in 4 States:

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Mwawado, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. Mwawado

    Mwawado JF-Expert Member

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    Tuesday,November 17,2009,

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A federal grand jury in West Virginia has linked five more people to an international scam that allegedly tricked government agencies in several states into paying at least $3.3 million to bogus companies with names that sounded like legitimate firms.

    The charges unsealed Tuesday implicate Minnesota residents Michael M. 'Mikie' Ochenge, 33; Robert M. 'Robe' Otiso, 36; Paramena J. 'Joseph' Shikanda, 35; Albert E. Gunga, 30; and Collins A. Masese, 20.

    All were born in Kenya and live in or near Minneapolis, prosecutors said. All but Masese were in custody Tuesday, and scheduled to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in Minneapolis.

    The felony counts allege Ochenge, Otiso and Shikanda helped devise a scheme that exploited increasing reliance on the Internet by both the public and private sectors to conduct business.

    Posing as businesses that provide services to state agencies, the conspirators tricked officials between March and July into giving them money owed to the legitimate vendors, the indictment says.

    They managed to scam $1.2 million from Massachusetts, $919,000 from West Virginia, $869,000 from Kansas and $301,000 from Ohio, the indictment says. The money had been intended for either Deloitte Consulting or Accenture Corp.

    Along with Gunga and Masese, Ochenge, Otiso and Shikanda allegedly conspired to launder the proceeds, with $770,000 wired to Kenya.

    The indictment also repeatedly mentions Angella Muthoni Chegge-Kraszeski. The Kenyan-born North Carolina resident, married to a U.S. citizen, was indicted in May in connection with the scheme. Prosecutors on Tuesday requested a guilty plea hearing for the 33-year-old, indicating that she has been cooperating with them.

    Chegge-Kraszeski allegedly registered corporations with names similar to the legitimate firms - spelling them as 'Deloite' and 'Acenture.' At times aided by Ochenge, Otiso and Shikanda, she set up bank accounts in Minnesota and North Carolina, the charges allege, using a false South African passport that identified her as 'Christina Ann Clay.'

    Investigators allege computers in Kenya repeatedly accessed state government Web sites to glean information for the scheme. The conspirators also received packages from there containing the bogus passport and two batches of sealed, pre-addressed envelopes later placed in the U.S. mail. Two of the packages were routed through the United Arab Emirates.

    But the conspiracy may extend beyond what's alleged in the two indictments. West Virginia was hit by a similar scam that netted around $1 million during the same period. Utah officials reported earlier in the year that the same sort of fraud attack diverted $2.5 million. Chegge-Kraszeski was arrested in May after Florida thwarted a ploy attempted there.

    Masese relied on phony California and New Jersey drivers licenses to help Gunga and the others launder the defrauded funds, the indictment alleges. Ochenge, Otiso and Shikanda face all eight counts in the indictment unsealed Tuesday, which includes mail fraud and wire fraud charges in addition to conspiracy and money laundering. Prosecutors also seek to have assets forfeited by any defendants convicted to recoup the scammed funds.

    Officials in Massachusetts have previously declined to comment on the alleged scam. Kansas' Department of Adminstration was targeted in the scheme, but has since recovered the money, spokesman Gavin Young said.

    Ohio has also recovered its funds, state Budget Director Pari Sabety said Tuesday. She said her state had added safeguards to its process after she learned about the scam in May from colleagues in other states - but was still duped.
    'It's something that we've dealt with,' Sabety said. 'We've taken the measures that we think we need to safeguard the system against future incidents.

    An array of law enforcement have helped develop the case, from local police in Minneapolis to the FBI, Secret Service and other federal agencies. Investigators in West Virginia, North Carolina and Minnesota have also taken part.
    ___
    Associated Press Staff Writer John Hanna in Topeka and Stephen Majors in Columbus contributed to this report.
     
  2. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    Nov 23, 2009
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    Wakenya wenzetu sasa naona kauli moja na wa-Nigeria.
    Uchache kama ulifika kijijini basi poa tu.Acha watumike
    kifungo kisha warudi kula akili yao.

    ...kufa gari,kufa dreva...waswahili walisema.
     
  3. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    Nov 24, 2009
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    Ab-Titchaz,
    Hii inatisha. Inaonekana jamaa wana akili sana. Wangezitumia katika mipango legitimate mambo yangekuwa poa.
     
  4. Yegomasika

    Yegomasika JF-Expert Member

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    Na mimi nimeiona hiyo, hawa jamaa lazima watakuwa Wakikuyu hawa. Ila hawa jirani zetu ni wa kucheza nao mbali kabisa, wamekuwa wa-Nigeria wa East Africa.
     
  5. Injinia

    Injinia JF-Expert Member

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    Could this be contributing to the fact that apparently Kenyans abroad are sending more money home than their Tanzanian & Ugandan counterparts as was recently reported (and posted here on JF, though I don't exactly remember the thread)?

    Tsk tsk!! Sasa hivi jamaa watamrukia Obama kumwambia cheki ndugu zako wanavyohujumu uchumi wetu!!
     
  6. Nyaralego

    Nyaralego JF-Expert Member

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    Nov 24, 2009
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    Wala sio wote wakikuyu...utashangaa!!! hapo kuna wakisii, na mluhyia, huyo dame ndio mkikuyu.
    I can say this much, its totally disturbing...These guys are in for it, trying to seperate the Federal govt. from it's money at this time, in this economy was not a very bright idea.
     
  7. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    Jasusi,

    Kweli kabisa na naamini lazima mmoja wao ana akili ya mbolea.
    Taslimu flani ilivuka mipaka na kutia timu Kenya. Swala ni kama
    hela yenyewe ipo benki ama keshavunwa?
     
  8. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    ...arobaini yao ishafika dadangu na maji yamezidi unga.

    When engaging in such, its prudent to prepare for any
    eventualities...including a long time in Federal Prison.
     
  9. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    ...Very likely
     
  10. Nyaralego

    Nyaralego JF-Expert Member

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    Yeah, they should have been prudent...you know FBI itafuata hiyo hela mpaka Kenya...they will not rest...
    All in all sifa mbaya kwa Wakenya...These are the times that i am not very proud of my people.

    Basically I think there was an element of laziness...get rich quickly schemes have never worked...HARD and SMART WORK Does.
     
  11. Nyani Ngabu

    Nyani Ngabu Platinum Member

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    Nov 25, 2009
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    Hapana Jasusi...jamaa hawana akili. Wangekuwa na akili wasingebambwa. Mwisho wa siku mwenye akili nani? FBI au wao?
     
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