Neville Sajere, a Nigerian filmmaker and proprietor of Nevada Bridge productions, has been declared sought in the United States for a $1 million scam, while his wife has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Police in the United States have issued a warrant for Neville Sajere, a Nigerian filmmaker and owner of Nevada Bridge productions, for alleged $1 million fraud.

After being charged by a grand jury on two counts of Bank Fraud and two counts of Aggravated Identity Theft, Neville was declared sought in the Northern District of Georgia in the United States of America.

Ivie Shevon Sajere, his wife, has previously been jailed for her part in a scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) of over $1 million. Thousands of online applications for SSA retirement benefits and FEMA disaster benefits were falsely filed using stolen personal information as part of the scheme.

Kurt R. Erskine, the United States Attorney, stated:

“This was a major identity theft scam that affected two government agencies and damaged thousands of people across the country.”

“Sajere’s prison term is the result of a lengthy investigation and prosecution, and it serves as a warning to other fraudsters with similar intentions.”

The Social Security Administration’s Inspector General, Gail S. Ennis, also stated:

“This sentence holds Sajere responsible for her part in a complicated scheme to cheat the Social Security Administration of approximately $700,000 in just one day. She obtained the personal information of innocent people and used it to cheat the Social Security Administration (SSA) by exploiting the agency’s web services.

“My office will continue to safeguard the integrity of the Social Security Administration’s online services and programs, which are relied upon by so many Americans.” I appreciate the participation of the US Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, Homeland Security Investigations, and other law enforcement agencies in this thorough inquiry. I also want to express my gratitude to the United States Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this matter.”

The charges and other information presented in court read: From approximately June 2017 to September 2018, the defendant and her husband, Neville Sajere, both Nigerian nationals who engaged in marriage fraud in an unsuccessful attempt to become U.S. citizens, participated in a money laundering scheme that defrauded nearly a million dollars from SSA and FEMA, according to U.S. Attorney Erskine.

Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the US Postal Inspection Service, Tommy D. Coke, stated:

“Anyone with malevolent intent has the potential to cause enormous harm to victims, and in this case, the defendant planned an identity theft spree that culminated in the defrauding of two charities that give significant aid to those in need.”

“This scheme demonstrates the necessity of national cooperation in the fight against identity theft, and I appreciate our law enforcement colleagues’ invaluable support with this case.”

Unknown fraudsters used stolen personal information to file claims for Social Security retirement benefits and FEMA disaster assistance funds. Individual victims whose personal information was stolen were frequently professionals who were well-known in their areas. These people appear to have been targeted because, despite being of retirement age, they had not filed for SSA retirement benefits and did not require disaster relief. As a result, the fraudsters stood a greater probability of their applications being granted. A film director, an award-winning journalist, the daughter of a great film director, and a renowned professor were among the fatalities.

Once an application was granted, the fraudsters instructed that the funds be placed onto a Green Dot debit card that they had opened with stolen personal information. The defendant made payments to Nevada Bridge TV, a Nigerian streaming service/television production company owned by the defendant’s husband; BAGMA, an African gospel award show business owned by the defendant’s husband; and Shevonz, a clothing store owned by the defendant, as soon as the money hit the Green Dot debit card.

U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. sentenced Ivie Shevon Sajere (a/k/a Ivie Shevon Owubo), 38, of Suwanee, Georgia, to two years and six months in prison. She was also sentenced to pay SSA and FEMA $949,616.40 in reparation. At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, Ivie was remanded in custody to begin her sentence. She will most likely be deported after serving her sentence because she is not a US citizen. On November 30, 2021, Ivie pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy.

The case against her husband, Neville Sajere, is still pending since he “appears to have fled the United States and escaped prosecution.” according to documents filed in court.

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