Signed, sealed, delivered to prison: man jailed for six and a half years after faking signatures of CEO on £660,000 of fraudulent invoices
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A man who helped fake signatures from the CEO of a foreign exchange company based in the City of London has been jailed for six and a half years.
Olamide Odulele, 39, of Southend-on-Sea, was sentenced after being found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud and four counts of fraud by false representation relating to the purchase of high-end goods, as well as trying to take out a loan and credit cards under a fake name.
Detective Chief Inspector Lee Parish, from the Fraud Operations team at City of London Police, said:
“The sentence handed down today should serve as a reminder that fraud will not be tolerated in the City of London and that however clever you think you are being, there will always be repercussions.
“Odulele demonstrated a clear lack of responsibility for his actions and he, together with Shazeb Iqbal, thought they could outsmart the banks and the authorities.”
“Along with tackling fraud across the country as the national lead force for fraud, financial and economic crime in the City will continue to be an area that we direct resources to fighting.”
In September 2017, City of London Police were contacted by NEX Group PLC following the discovery that 29 fake invoices had been received and processed through their accounts department between 21st July – 25th August 2017.
All of the fake invoices had been received as attachments within e-mails that were purportedly sent from the PA of the CEO, which were received in the shared email inbox within the accounts department at NEX.
The invoices were identified as fake, as none of the companies requesting funds were legitimate. In addition, each of the invoices had what appeared to be the CEO’s signature authorising payment, which it was then confirmed, the CEO had not signed.
All of the fake invoices were processed by one member of staff called Shazeb Iqbal and evidence was found that directly linked the name Olamide Odulele as the author of the invoices.
Further evidence was found that linked Odulele to the fraudulent opening of bank accounts in the fake name of Dr. Aamir Motiwala, which were also used as recipient accounts for NEX funds. A further account was also opened in the name of Dr. Aamir Motiwala and was used to launder funds, some of which was transferred directly to Odulele or accounts suspected to be under his control.
The total value of the 29 invoices was £668,924.80, however upon discovering the fraud, eight invoices were stopped before payment. NEX was also able to recover £116,892.02 from the banks. The final total loss was calculated as £364,740.50 from the 21 invoices that were paid into 20 separate bank accounts.
During the investigation, it was also discovered that Odulele opened further accounts under fake names to secure credit cards, loans and store accounts totalling £13,482.42
Shazeb Iqbal previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and in August 2021, was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment.