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Classic Baggie: A Delaware BEC Case calls him the leader of an International Criminal Organization – Source: securityboulevard.com

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Source: securityboulevard.com – Author: Gary Warner

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Delaware charged Olugbenga Lawal with being a major money launderer for a Nigerian-based international criminal organization that specialized in Business Email Compromise (#BEC) and Romance Scam.  Lawal was charged with receiving more than $3 million USD (that would be more than ₦2,8 Billion!) and sending funds to Nigeria both through money transfer, but also buy purchasing and shipping more than $600,000 in vehicles.

Olugbenga Lawal was born November 30, 1990 in Lagos, Nigeria. After attending boarding school starting at age 13, he got a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. He taught for one year in the National Youth Core in 2013. In 2015, he stayed with an uncle in New York for three months, then moved to Chicago where he married Myjerrier Lawal and the two moved to Indiana, where he lived when he was arrested.

Early in the case, Lawal’s lawyer tried to get the judge to allow him to be free pending bail. At that point there was a court hearing to determine if he had to stay in jail until the trial, or if he could be released and monitored. This type of hearing is called a Detention Hearing. During that hearing, some interesting facts came out!

From the Detention Hearing Transcript:

The Defendant’s importance in the criminal organization is demonstrated by the fact that he received money directly from defrauded victims as well as from lower-ranking members of the criminal organization. It is believe that, as a higher-ranking member of the organization, Defendant received a “cut” of the fraudulently obtained proceeds and, after taking that “cut,” helped to launder the proceeds and repatriate the funds to West Africa largely by purchasing cars with the fraudulent proceeds and shipping them overseas to other members of the criminal organization.

The criminal organization apparently has obtained and used fraudulent identification and travel documents to aid in its internet-based fraud and money laundering efforts. The Government proffers that the organization has obtained false state driver’s licenses and false passports, both to create the online personas used to perpetrate its romance scams and to register shell business entities and open bank accounts under untraceable aliases.

In short, the nature of the criminal organization and its crimes has provided Defendant with resources to flee from prosecution. Defendant, either personally or through his co-conspirators, has access to millions of dollars, fraudulent travel documents, and co-conspirators located across the country and the world. Moreover, the Defendant, who is not an American citizen, appears to be facing a substantial guidelines term of incarceration and likely deportation. The combination of the lengthy sentence facing the Defendant and his likely deportation provides the Defendant with a strong incentive to flee prosecution.

Defendant has made at least four overseas trips over the past two years. Those trips appear to include two extended trips to Nigeria, as well as two short trips to Cancun, Mexico. As noted already, Defendant has access to an un-identified amount of money that he could use to flee from prosecution, including up to $2 million dollars in cash withdrawals remain largely unaccounted for as well as potential money from co-conspirators looking to help him.

The government’s primary witness in the case was a man named Mr. Hermann. Normally we do not ever get to see the evidence that the government has against a criminal, because they often enter a “Guilty” plea which causes there to be no trial where such information would become public record. Because Mr. Lawal refused to plea, he went to a Jury Trial where things did not go well for him. Since it is all in the record, let’s start by hearing the Prosecutor for the Government’s opening statements:

Mr. Hermann took orders from one of the leaders of the criminal organization in Nigeria, a man by the name of Ehonre Oluwaseun, who is more commonly referred to as Classic Baggie. You will hear evidence that Classic Baggie recruited Michael Hermann to open bank accounts through which to launder fraud money. Hermann in turn recruited Assane and Baines to open even more accounts. Hermann passed information to Classic Baggie and Classic Baggie

insured that the scammers had — who had contact with the victims had the correct bank account information. The scammers then instructed their victims to send money to these bank accounts, and Classic Baggie instructed Michael Hermann on what to do with the fraud money deposited into accounts controlled by Hermann, Assane, and Baines.

You will hear from both Mr. Hermann and Ms. Assane during this trial that most frequently the instructions that came to them were to send the money to the defendant, Mr. Lawal. And you won’t have to take them at their word, because you’re going to see text messages between Mr. Hermann and Ms. Assane that show funds being directed to the defendant again and again and again. Some portions of these messages are in English while others are

translated from a dialect of French. But you will see chat after chat containing instructions to send the money to Lawal.

You will see bank records showing well over three-and-a-half million dollars moving through personal and business bank accounts controlled by the defendant, Mr. Lawal, in years where he reported minimal income to the IRS.

The evidence will show that Mr. Lawal and his co-conspirators used some of the scam money to buy cars at car auctions that were shipped overseas to Nigeria, where Classic Baggie lived. You will also hear from a witness named Opeyemi Opaleye, who received fraud proceeds from Mr. Lawal and used the cash to purchase vehicles for his own car export business. Mr. Opaleye will testify that Mr. Lawal directed dollar deposits into Mr. Opaleye’s

personal and business accounts in return for the deposit of the equivalent amount of Nigerian currency into Mr. Lawal’s Nigerian bank account. You will see chats between Mr. Opaleye, and the defendant, Mr. Lawal, in which the two discuss the exchange of Nigerian currency or Naira for U.S. dollars. And in one of these chats, the defendant, Mr. Lawal, sent Mr. Opaleye a photo of a bank receipt in someone’s lap. Well, you will hear testimony from the person who took that photo of the receipt in his own lap. He is a romance fraud victim. He will testify that he took the photo to show that he made the payment. And you will learn that soon thereafter, the defendant, Mr. Lawal, sent the same photo to Mr. Opaleye.

We do not ask that you accept the testimony of these witnesses without any scrutiny, indeed we invite you to closely examine each witness’s testimony, listen closely to their testimony, consider each witness’s incentives and see how each witness’s testimony is corroborated by the testimony of other witnesses and documentary evidence. You will not only hear the testimony of these people, but in some instances, you will see their text communications. You will learn that many of these communications, Mr. Hermann is passing on instructions directly from his boss, Classic Baggie, the leader of the organization to send scam proceeds to the defendant, Mr. Lawal.

Classic Baggie? What sort of name is that? Well – back in 2007, Classic Baggie was very publicly known to be friends with two other famous Nigerian money launderers, named Hushpuppi and Mompha. (My readers will know how closely I followed the cases of Hushpuppi! and Mompha


For a recapping of their falling-out, I’ll refer you to the blog of Linda Ekeji.

(Click to read “Hushpuppi slams former friend“)

The reputation of Classic Baggie, likely from paid fluff pieces, is much more favorable in Nigeria than how the Delaware court portrays him!

(Click to read “ENTER THE WORLD OF EHONRE OLUWASEUN” from SaharaWeeklyNG)

(Click to read “Philanthropist Ehonre Oluwaseun” from Linda Ikeji)

Keep Reading! Classic Baggie: Part 2 – How to run a Money Laundering Operation!

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from CyberCrime & Doing Time authored by Gary Warner. Read the original post at: https://garwarner.blogspot.com/2024/01/classic-baggie-delaware-bec-case-calls.html

Original Post URL: https://securityboulevard.com/2024/01/classic-baggie-a-delaware-bec-case-calls-him-the-leader-of-an-international-criminal-organization/

Category & Tags: Security Bloggers Network,AML,bec,ClassicBaggie,Hushpuppi,money laundering,romance scams – Security Bloggers Network,AML,bec,ClassicBaggie,Hushpuppi,money laundering,romance scams


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