PEORIA, Ill. – A citizen of Cameroon, Lovette Namatinga, 33, entered pleas of guilty this morning to defrauding a Bourbonnais, Ill., bank. Namatinga pleaded guilty to all counts of the indictment immediately prior to jury selection as his trial was about to begin in Peoria, Ill., before U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid. Sentencing for Namatinga has been scheduled on Jan. 7, 2021.
Namatinga, of Owings Mills, Md., has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since he was arrested on Oct. 7, 2019, at Washington Dulles International Airport by FDIC Office of Inspector General agents.
Today, Namatinga pleaded guilty to defrauding Municipal Trust and Savings Bank, Bourbonnais, Ill. Namatinga admitted that he carried out the fraud from about February to April 2019, by falsely representing to the bank that the secretary of one of the bank’s customers requested that cashier’s checks be sent to Namatinga’s fraudulent company known as Keiko San Products Alimenticious, LLC. Namatinga is the registered agent for Keiko, and the four checks were mailed to his home address. Once the checks were deposited into Keiko bank accounts, Namatinga then transferred money from those accounts to his personal account or withdrew cash from those accounts. The loss to the bank was approximately $140,000.
In addition to the fraud committed through Municipal Trust & Savings Bank, Namatinga used his fraudulent business and multiple associated bank accounts to deposit and launder fraud proceeds from various other financial institutions throughout the United States.
For each offense of bank fraud (four counts) and wire fraud (four counts), the statutory penalty is up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the FDIC Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eugene L. Miller and Keith Cook are representing the government in the prosecution.