KCSD Press Release – A Nigerian man, who was arrested last year by Kosciusko County detectives in connection to a large financial scam, has been sentenced locally and is now currently in federal custody.
Kazeem Owonla, 44, Nigeria, was sentenced last week in Kosciusko County Superior Court 3, after pleading guilty to Count II, theft, a class D felony. Owonla’s sentencing included an incarceration in the Kosciusko County Jail of 36 months, with 26 month suspended. Owonla was also ordered by the court to pay victim’s restitution, cost and various fines in excess of $16,000 prior to his release from jail, according to Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Hampton.
Owonla was initially taken into custody by officers from the Atlanta Police Department (Georgia) after he landed in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on November 12th, 2014. Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation had tracked Owonla as he was returning to the United States. Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department deputies had originally investigated a theft on June 28th involving a local female victim that had been scammed for thousands of dollars. As K.C.S.D. detectives progressed with the investigation, they discovered that the suspect had used various aliases, as well as a non-authorized photograph of Montana Attorney General Tim Fox as a profile “pic” to lure females.
During the course of the investigation, sheriff’s detectives were able to positively connect Owonla to the Kosciusko County victim, along with a second female victim in Clarksville, Ohio. Investigators had determined that Owonla also had other various banking accounts, but were unobtainable by law enforcement. Agents and detectives speculate that there are other potential victims that Owonla might have systematically scammed using other names/aliases.
Owonla was taken into custody at the Kosciusko County Jail by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Monday.