COVID-19 Stimulus Check Theft Sends Houston Resident to Prison

Jun 24, 2024

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 50-year-old man has been sentenced for committing fraud in connection with stimulus checks, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Ndem Oduu pleaded guilty March 14.

U.S. District Judge Charles R. Eskridge has now ordered Oduu to serve 45 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. Oduu was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,867. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence that showed Oduu possessed thousands of pages of documents in his apartment related to his efforts to defraud the government through fraudulent loans and tax credits. In handing down the sentence, the court noted he hoped Oduu would lead a productive life upon release. 

At the time of his plea, Oduu admitted to appropriating a victim’s Economic Impact Payment, also referred to as a stimulus check, in the amount of $1,200 and depositing the check into his own account. 

The U.S. government offered these payments to the general public in response to the economic harm of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Oduu has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General and Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman prosecuted the case.

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