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Published: Friday, 8/15/2003

2 indicted on bank fraud charges

Two Lima, Ohio, men have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Toledo on charges of fraud for trying to have as much as $475,000 in U.S. funds and $850,000 in Canadian money wired fraudulently into a bank account.

George T. Katuramu, 42, and Twine B. Katuramu, 29, face charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, and mail fraud.

George Katuramu also is charged with two counts of passing forged international money orders and one count of bank fraud, while his brother, Twine Katuramu, also is charged with an additional count of bank fraud.

The two men pled not guilty in pretrial hearings. The deadline for pretrial motions was set for Sept. 2. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Karol would not speculate how long a sentence they might receive if convicted.

The grand jury alleges that the men, immigrants from Uganda, attempted to defraud several banks by sending forged letters purported to be from groups such as Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., the American Chemical Society, and the Canadian Province of New Brunswick, requesting funds be transferred.

From about September, 2000, to February, 2001, the grand jury alleges that the men tried to have money transferred to an account set up by Twine Katuramu at KeyBank in Findlay, doing business as Give and Take Distributions, and an account in the name of Abol Fazl Ali Ghonche Arachi at the Dubai Islamic Bank in Deira, United Arab Emirates.

The grand jury also alleges that Twine Katuramu deposited an $8,665.04 check to Sr. Mary Charles of the Rombo Girls Boarding School in Loitokitok, Kenya, with a falsified signature endorsing it over to him. It also alleges that George Katuramu attempted to pass seven international money orders issued by Barclays Bank and altered from 20 British pounds to as much as 14,920 British pounds.

The banks targeted include Chase Manhattan Bank, the Royal Bank of Canada, and Barclays Bank, none of which lost money.

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