PEORIA, Ill. –A citizen of Cameroon, Lovette Namatinga, 34, has been sentenced to serve 48 months in federal prison for defrauding a Bourbonnais, Ill., bank of nearly $300,000. At the sentencing hearing, on April 13, 2021, Senior U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm further ordered that Namatinga pay restitution in the amount of $278,201 to the bank and numerous other individual and business victims of the defendant’s fraud scheme.
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.
On Sept. 21, 2020, immediately prior to jury selection before his trial, Namatinga pleaded guilty to all counts of the indictment, four counts each of bank and wire fraud, as charged, related to his 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.
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 victims throughout the United States. Namatinga’s scheme, known as a business e-mail compromise scam, was just one such scheme in 2019 that resulted in more than 23,000 victims nationally, with an average loss of $75,000 per complaint, according to FBI crime statistics.
The FDIC Office of Inspector General conducted the case investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller represented the government in the prosecution.