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Meet The Nigerian Man Accused Of Duping Millions Of Dollars From Victims In Canada

Posted : Posted By : Alcapela Z.

“Johnson Chrome was born as Adekunle Johnson Omitiran on January 31, 1980, in the Oshodi slums of Lagos, Nigeria. His father, Gbadebo, was a travelling businessman from southwestern Nigeria. When Chrome was a boy, Gbadebo left Chrome’s mother, a Fulani woman from Nigeria’s north, and at one point allegedly had as many as six wives.

Nigerian fraudster who duped many in Toronto


Gbadebo studied at the University of Exeter in the U.K. and later found his way to Toronto. Chrome’s mother was left to raise him and his brother and stepbrother, with the help of her father, who took the family in. Chrome didn’t respond to interview requests for this story, but sources in Nigeria say he spent much of his childhood on the streets, getting shooed away from the local markets by vendors, who didn’t want a poor kid hanging around.

According to one childhood friend, he wasn’t a troublemaker and had no criminal record. He later attended Lagos State University, and in 2003, when he was 23, his father brought him to Toronto.

Chrome enrolled at York University, where he studied economics and lived modestly in a basement apartment near campus. Less than a year later, police believe, he entered the world of fraud.

In January 2004, Canada customs intercepted a suspicious parcel destined for Chrome’s apartment. The package had come from Nigeria, and it was heavy enough to qualify for inspection. Inside, officials discovered 36 envelopes addressed to various people in the U.S., each containing a counterfeit cheque for roughly $10,000.

The intended recipients had placed ads online selling various items; fraudsters, posing as brokers, wrote letters explaining they wanted to buy the item, but their buyers had already written a cheque for more than the asking price. Would the recipient be so kind as to deposit it and wire back the difference?

In most instances of the scam, the intended target is skeptical and ignores the letter, but inevitably, some obey the enclosed instructions. By the time the bank catches on and cancels the transaction, the account holder is on the hook and the scammer is in the wind, a few thousand dollars richer.

These kinds of frauds are so popular in Nigeria that they’re now known globally as 419 scams, which refers to the section of Nigeria’s criminal code pertaining to fraud. Police claim that Chrome’s job was to mail the letters from Canada, bypassing the suspicions of U.S. Postal Service officials.”

Chrome was generous with his money, regularly paying for meals and drinks for his friends at the Thompson rooftop, Cabana Pool Bar and restaurants like STK, Kasa Moto, One and NAO. On Friday nights, they would head to nightclubs like Lavelle and Wildflower, where they’d spend hundreds, sometimes thousands, on bottle service, drinking and carousing until close.

They swapped compliments—how this pocket square neatly embellished those shoelaces, or how these cufflinks flattered that scarf. Chrome was brazen with women, identifying the most beautiful woman at a club and approaching her with confidence.

Chrome reappeared on police radar in 2006, when he walked into a Royal Bank on Bathurst and, using forged documents under the name Glen Lee, opened a chequing account. RBC eventually realized that the account was fishy, and police arrested Chrome. He pleaded guilty to fraud under $5,000 and received a 12-month conditional discharge, which effectively wiped his record clean after the sentence was over. By 2007, he’d obtained Canadian citizenship.

Chrome’s girlfriend from Nigeria, Olubukola “Bukky” Jegede, soon followed him to Canada. They married and eventually had three kids. By all accounts, Chrome was a devoted father, taking his kids to the park, the movies, and to church every Sunday. The family moved often—presumably to keep police from knowing his whereabouts.

Like any successful businessman, Chrome learned to delegate. Police say he teamed up with a fellow Nigerian named Mickie Noah, who would allegedly make ATM withdrawals and request new cards and PIN changes as part of Chrome’s operation. Noah had grown up in even poorer circumstances than Chrome, and over time he’d developed a similar appetite for luxury.

He mocked Torontonians’ lack of sartorial derring-do. “Downtown, they think they’re stylish, but they all wear black,” he once posted on Instagram. Noah had a predilection for bright jackets, wide-brimmed hats and oversized Iris Apfel glasses. He shopped at Holt Renfrew and Via Cavour, stocking his closet with monk-strap shoes, vibrant ascots and jaunty bow ties. He also shared Chrome’s fondness for cigars—Cohiba robustos were his particular weakness—which he often enjoyed next to his friend on Yorkville’s best-situated bench.

Read full article HERE

Source; Torontolife


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