Nigeria: Man arrested for defrauding American Red Cross

Olanrewaju Beyioku, a 38-year-old Nigerian man has been arrested for defrauding the American Red Cross by claiming he was a Hurricane Harvey victim. He was charged on Thursday in U.S. Locale Court with wire extortion on claims he cashed $3,600 in federal disaster vouchers provided by the Red Cross in October 2017. The philanthropic organization offered the funds through a one-time money payment of $400 after Hurricane Harvey struck Houston, Texas, on Aug. 25, 2017. The casualty was given a reference code which could be redeemed for money at Walmart areas. After the program launched in September 2017, the Red Cross gotten reports no victims were asserting the funds. “The Red Cross has found more than 3,300 reference codes that were fraudulently applied for via its and used to obtain money payments at Walmart stores,” records state. “The total loss to the Red Cross is over $1.3 million.” Walmart security investigations determined 81 fraudulent transactions committed by two individuals at the Walmart in Hammond. The extortion totaled $32,400. After an investigation, government authorities determined 9 of the transaction were led by Beyioku. He was distinguished in a photo array by an agent at Walmart. Authority also followed the ill-gotten cash back to his bank accounts.

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