Mastermind behind £2.6m. States con finally sent to jail
A MAN who helped mastermind an operation that conned the States out of £2.6m. has been jailed for nine-and-a-half years.
Bayo Awonorin, 44, was originally arrested in 2012 but fled the UK while on bail.
He appeared on the National Crime Agency’s 10 most wanted fraudsters campaign.
Awonorin was wanted in connection with Operation Tarlac, a fraud and money laundering investigation in which public bodies including Guernsey’s States and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust were defrauded of more than £12m.
The States was the biggest victim, with the money lost meant to be paid to Lagan as part of the airport project.
A bogus letter sent to the States asked it to change the bank account details for payments to the contractor.
Awonorin admitted two charges of conspiring with others to defraud public institutions and to convert criminal property.
Sentencing in Leicester Crown Court, Judge Phillip Head said that Awonorin had played a ‘leading and directing role’ from the cradle to the grave of the operation which was sophisticated and widescale in its complexity and execution.
Awonorin was traced by officers from Lincolnshire Police Economic Crime Unit to the US and, through close collaboration with both the UK and US authorities, he was arrested in Maryland and successfully extradited to the UK in September last year.
Awonorin is the fourteenth suspect to be convicted and brings to a close the largest and most successful fraud and money laundering investigation undertaken by Lincolnshire Police.
Operation Tarlac has seen prison sentences of over 60 years handed down and confiscation orders obtained for over £4m.