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Fridley Man Jailed for Part in $50M Fraud Ring Released from Jail

A judge sentenced Jude Obira Okafor to probation today.

Jude Obira Okafor, 45, a Fridley man who pleaded guilty in December for his role in , was released from jail today on probation.

Okafor let conspirators in the fraud ring meet at his business, A.J. Auto.

In February Okwuchukwu Emmanuel Jidoefor of Fridley also pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting bank fraud—a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Jidoefor has not yet been sentenced.

They two are among 27 co-conspirators federal officials identified in an investigation dubbed Operation Starburst that covered six states over a five-year period from 2006–11.

On Monday, the fraud ring’s leader, Julian Okeayaninneh of Colton, CA, was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

In a press release Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones called the ring “one of the largest and most sophisticated of its kind prosecuted in the U.S. to date” and said that it had more than 500 victims across six states.

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