February 21, 2009

Nigerian accused in $27 million swindle

Authorities allege a Nigerian swindler working with conspirators in six countries convinced Citibank to wire him $27 million in one month.

Paul Gabriel Amos, 37, allegedly created official-looking documents that convinced Citibank in New York to wtranfer the money in two dozen transactions last October, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The money has been recovered and credited back to the Citibank account of the National Bank of Ethiopia, from which it was withdrawn, said an unnamed Citibank spokeswoman.

Amos was arrested last month when he tried to enter the United States through Los Angeles, said documents in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. He has pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank wire fraud, the Times reported.

The fraud was discovered after several banks where Amos and his conspirators allegedly held accounts returned money to Citibank, saying they couldn't process the transactions.

The money had been wired to accounts allegedly controlled by Amos and his conspirators in the United States, China, Japan, Australia, Cyprus and South Korea.