Indictment: Theft of $187,000 from religious organization and conspired to launder stolen funds

| 17 Jan 2019 | 08:32

    TRENTON –Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that two men have been indicted on charges that one of the men allegedly stole $187,859 from a religious organization by fraudulently posing as a vendor for an affiliated organization, and the second man allegedly conspired to launder much of the stolen funds through a corporate bank account he controlled.
    The Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau yesterday obtained a nine-count state grand jury indictment charging the two defendants with the following crimes:
    1.Richard I. Legemah, 49, of Lawrenceville, Georgia:
    • Money Laundering (2nd degree)
    • Misconduct by a Corporate Official (2nd degree)
    • Conspiracy (2nd degree)
    • Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function (4th degree)
    • Resisting Arrest (4th degree)

    2. Nsima Idem, a Nigerian national with ties to companies based in Lagos, Nigeria:
    • Theft by Deception (2nd degree)
    • Impersonation (2nd degree)
    • Attempted Theft by Deception (2nd degree)
    • Attempted Impersonation (2nd degree)
    • Money Laundering (2nd degree)
    • Misconduct by a Corporate Official (2nd degree)
    • Conspiracy (2nd degree)
    The indictment alleges that Idem stole $187,859 by sending false emails to a New Jersey-based religious organization– which is not named in the indictment – in which he posed as a representative of a vendor that was owed money by a party affiliated with the religious organization. Idem allegedly deceived the organization into wire transferring $187,859 into a bank account held by an individual in Texas. Through further emails, Idem allegedly attempted to steal an additional $98,359 from the religious organization, but that claim was determined to be illegitimate and no wire transfer was made.
    Legemah allegedly conspired with Idem to launder approximately $155,000 of the stolen funds by transferring funds from the bank account of the individual in Texas through a corporate bank account of DMZ Logistics, LLC, which was controlled by Legemah, and into various other bank accounts.
    Legemah is charged with obstructing the administration of law and resisting arrest because he allegedly attempted to flee to Canada after he learned that a warrant was issued for his arrest in this case. He was arrested on Aug. 13, 2017 by the Canadian Border Service while trying to cross the border in the vicinity of Niagara Falls, N.Y.
    Deputy Attorney General Thomas R. Clark presented the case to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Julia S. Glass and Deputy Bureau Chief Mark Kurzawa. The case was investigated by Detective James Gallo and Detective Carlos Hernandez, under the supervision of Lt. Vincent Gaeta. Attorney General Grewal thanked the Gwinnet County (Ga.) Police Department, the Canadian Border Service, and the U.S. Department of Justice for their valuable assistance.
    Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The second-degree charges in this case carry an enhanced fine of up to twice the amount allegedly stolen, or, for the money laundering charge, a fine of up to $500,000 and an additional anti-money laundering profiteering penalty of up to three times the amount allegedly laundered. Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
    The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
    The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Essex County, where the defendants will be ordered to appear in court at a later date for arraignment.
    The indictment is posted with this press release at
    Defense Attorneys
    For Legemah: David R. Oakley, Esq., Anderl & Oakley, P.C., Princeton, N.J.
    For Idem: Undetermined.