Md. man gets prison time for fake passports in money laundering case

A Bowie, Maryland, man was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in federal prison for his use of at least two false passports to open eight “drop accounts” for a money laundering conspiracy involving nearly $1 million.

Arinze Michael Ozor, 37, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Nigeria, pleaded guilty in January to using aliases on passports from Benin and Ghana to steal more than $976,000 in romance fraud schemes and through compromising business email accounts. The passports were used to deposit the money in the “drop accounts.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland announced the sentence in a news release Thursday.

Prosecutors said Ozor used the two fake passports to open accounts at eight different banks. When one of the banks suspected fraud and froze the account, Ozor met with a banker and presented one of the bogus passports to discuss regaining access to the account, prosecutors said.

Ozor was also ordered to pay $43,000 in restitution and will serve three years of supervised release following his prison term. He faced a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

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