Charles Akabougu, may be sent to prison in New Jersey for 15 years on charges of white collar crimes after presenting false documents to the US Postal Service. On April 18th, Akabougu will attend a pre-indictment hearing.
Akabougu Used False Name
According to Jay McCann, Chief Assistant Prosecutor for Passaic County, Akabougu, a Nigerian national, 53, was living under the name Norman Stanley Lowe. McCann stated that it is difficult to confirm whether the false identity was fabricated or stolen.
Akabougu has been charged with a second degree crime, exhibiting fraudulent government documents, and may receive a prison sentence of five to ten years. A charge of white collar crime in the third degree, impersonation, has also been filed against him.
Passport Application Led to Arrest
On March 28th, Akabougu applied for a passport using fabricated documents at the office of the Clifton Postal Service. The application was red flagged by federal authorities who informed state enforcement officers.
The arrest was made by US officers of the Inspector General’s Social Security Administration Office and State Department Diplomatic Service. Members from the White Collar Crime Unit of Passaic County Prosecutor were also present during the arrest.
Although federal level charges have been filed, the pre-indictment hearing will be held under the state law of New Jersey. A decision on whether the municipal court or the grand jury will oversee the case will be made during the hearing. At present, a bail of $50,000 has been set for Akabougu who is being detained in the County Jail in Passaic.
Akabougu will be detained in the US, as an illegal citizen under the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detainer, in the unlikely event of being released on bail. McCann explained that in cases of false identities, personal information is hard to federally corroborate.