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Nigerian businessman wanted by EFCC over alleged N1bn subsidy fraud jailed in US



A Nigerian businessman, Seun Ogunbambo, the Chief Executive Officer of Fargo Petroleum and Gas Limited, who was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over an alleged N1 billion scam, has been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment in the United States for fraud.

Ogunbambo, was reportedly sentenced on Friday by Federal Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York after he was found guilty of aggravated theft and use of false information for a US passport application.

The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) had, on November 27, 2019, issued a warrant of arrest for Ogunbambo, after he was indicted for federal violations and on October 27, 2020, he pleaded guilty before the federal judge with the sentencing scheduled for October 20, 2022.

According to court documents, the oil baron had reportedly falsified identifying information, including names, social security numbers and dates of birth, to apply for U.S. passports under the names Sean Bambo Benson, Sean Roberto Zacchaeus and Darron Roberto Zacchaeus.

He had allegedly committed the offences in the Southern District of New York on June 16, 2016, September 25, 2017, and January 29, 2018, respectively.

The document stated that the businessman had falsified information to make several renewals of his US passport, initially issued in November 2006 with his true identity at the Worth Post Office in Worth, Illinois.

Read also:EFCC arrests impersonator for alleged N19m fraud in Lagos

“The defendant willfully and knowingly made false statements in an application for a passport with the intent to induce and secure the issuance of a passport under the authority of the United States for his own use and the use of another,” the Special Agent in Charge of the case, Kevin P. Whelan, told the court.

“The defendant knowingly did transfer, possess, and use, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person, during and in relation to a felony violation enumerated in Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(c), to wit, Ogunbambo used the personal identification information, including the name, date of birth and Social Security number, of another person in connection with his fraudulent passport applications, as charged in Count One of this Complaint.”

According to the document, he had applied for renewal through a courier company on June 6, 2016, using a passport photograph and the information provided at the first issuance, as well as a marriage certificate, to change his name to Darron Roberto Zacchaeus.

“On September 25, 2017, Mr Ogunbambo applied for another passport renewal under Sean Roberto Zacchaeus using a different social security number. Similarly, another renewal application was made on January 29, 2018, in the name Sean O’Bambo-Benson,” Whelan said.

The oil and gas magnet was declared wanted by EFCC in August 2013 for an alleged “case of forgery, use of false documents and fraudulently obtaining the sum of N976,653,110, from the Federal Government under the petroleum support fund scheme.

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