‘Most Wanted’ fraudster jailed

Jailed - Bayo Awonorin. EMN-190130-120333001
Jailed - Bayo Awonorin. EMN-190130-120333001

Bayo Awonorin, wanted by Lincolnshire Police since 2013 has been sentenced to nine-and-a-half years imprisonment at Leicester Crown Court after defrauding organisations including a Lincolnshire-based NHS trust which cares for mental health patients.

Awonorin, who was wanted in connection with Operation Tarlac, a fraud and money laundering investigation in which public bodies including Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust were defrauded of over £12million, had been arrested in the United States of America and extradited to the United Kingdom at the request of Lincolnshire Police.

Sentencing, Judge Head commented that Awonorin had played a leading and directing role from the cradle to the grave of the operation which was sophisticated and wide scale in its complexity and execution.

Awonorin, 44, originally arrested in 2012 but subsequently fled the country while on bail, had been the subject of a BBC Crimewatch appeal and the National Crime Agency’s 10 most wanted fraudster’s campaign.

He was traced by officers from Lincolnshire Police Economic Crime Unit to the US and through close collaboration with both the UK and US authorities Awonorin was arrested in Maryland, USA and successfully extradited to the UK in September last year.

Awonorin is the 14th suspect to be convicted and brings to a close the largest and most successful fraud and money laundering investigation undertaken by Lincolnshire Police.

The investigation, called Operation Tarlac, has seen prison sentences of over 60 years handed down and confiscation orders obtained for over £4million.