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Two Nigerian citizens indicted for attempting to defraud the United States of over $25 million

U.S. Attorney's Office Western District of Washington

Seattle – Two Nigerian citizens who currently reside in Toronto, Canada, have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their scheme to steal COVID-19 disaster benefits and U.S. tax refunds, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Sakiru Olanrewaju Ambali, 45, was arrested yesterday in Frankfurt, Germany, as he traveled back to Canada from Nigeria.  Fatiu Ismaila Lawal, 45, was arrested in Canada. Each defendant remains in Germany or Canada respectively pending extradition to the U.S.

“These men are accused of using the stolen identities of thousands of Americans to submit over 1,700 claims for pandemic unemployment benefits to over 25 different states, including Washington State,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.  “My Office is committed to bringing to justice those accused of exploiting a time of crisis to illegally enrich themselves, whether they are in the United States or abroad.”


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