Nigerian man sentenced in tax return scheme that targeted West Virginians

Ayodele Arasokun
Ayodele Arasokun(WV Corrections)
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 3:34 PM EDT
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MARTINSBURG, W.Va (WDTV) - The leader of an international conspiracy to file false U.S. tax returns and obtain millions of dollars in refunds has been sentenced in West Virginia, according to federal authorities.

46-year-old Ayodele Arasokun, of Paris, France, was sentenced to 34 years in federal prison for orchestrating an international tax scheme, a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of West Virginia.

Arasokun, who is originally from Nigeria, was convicted by a jury in October 2022 of twenty-one counts of wire fraud and aggravated identify theft.

Prior Coverage: Jury convicts leader of worldwide tax return scheme in W.Va. federal court

According to court documents and statements made in court, Arasokun orchestrated a scheme to file 1,701 false returns and claim $9.1 million in refunds from a location just outside of Paris, France.

West Virginians were among those who had their identities stolen and false returns filed in their names.

Evidence presented at trial showed that Arasokun had the money transferred to pre-paid debit cards and checking accounts that he was monitoring. The investigation revealed approximately 700 U.S.-based accounts containing more than $50 million was being tracked by Arasokun.

A total of $2.2 million in fraudulent refunds were actually paid by the Internal Revenue Service, according to officials.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Cogar and Eleanor Hurney.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) - Cybercrime Investigations Division, and the IRS-CI, Los Angeles field office investigated the case.

U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh presided over the case.