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World News

Fraudster who said he had traded 'crime for Christianity' faces US extradition

by Kelly Valencia

A man who said he had found God after serving two years in prison for fraud, is now facing US extradition for his alleged involvement in a multimillion-pound scam. 

Oludayo Adeagbo from east London, is being accused of allegedly defrauding three US universities of nearly $5million (£4m) between 2016 and 2018.

The 42-year-old could face up to 82 years in prison if found guilty. He has protested his innocence and it now is up to Home Secretary Priti Patel whether or not to allow his extradition. 

In the early 2000s, Adeagbo was sentenced to two years in prison for leading a defrauding gang called "iPod crew" which used to steal luxury cars by forging driving licenses, bank statements and payslips. 

At the time of his sentence, Adeagbo had two Bibles in his bag and said he was "trading crime for Christianity". 

After his release he set up an award-winning fashion company called Florian Clothing, which products were being sold in Bloomingdale's in New York, according to Adeagbo.

But the father of four is now being accused of sending a series of scam emails to three US universities, instructing them to transfer millions of dollars to a bank account.

In the emails, he would allegedly claim to be from the financial department of legitimate construction companies. On one occasion, the email asked Appalachian State University to transfer more than $1,900,000 to a JP Morgan bank account.  

Adeagbo is believed to have been working with Ho Shin Lee, a Los Angeles businessman and Donald Echeazu, from east London, in the scam operation. They each face three charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and aggravated identity theft. 

During their extradition hearing at Westminster magistrates' court, Judge Zani said he was sending the cases to the secretary of state for a decision as he could not find bars to the extradition. 

Adeagbo is being held at Wandsworth prison.

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