By PF Staff
New York, NY.-Thirty-two individuals were arrested Friday on narcotics and gambling charges following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York, working jointly with The New York City Police Department (NYPD).
The investigation, being prosecuted out of New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office, uncovered a large-scale alleged cocaine and heroin distribution network centered in the East Village and a related gambling operation located in a busy commercial district near West 11th Street and Avenue of the Americas in the West Village.
Beginning early Friday morning, 32 individuals were arrested in New York City, Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida. An indictment filed by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor (SNP) for the City of New York follows a long-term wiretap investigation by HSI and NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Manhattan South, Gang Squad Manhattan South and Vice Squad.
Former agents sentenced in life insurance scheme
Former insurance agents Ali Kakande, 38, and Sulaiman Lutale, 36, pleaded no contest to multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, grand theft, and forgery after falsifying life insurance applications to collect over $150,000 in unearned commissions.
Kakande was sentenced to six years in state prison and ordered to pay $105,129.90 in restitution. Lutale was sentenced to four years in state prison and ordered to pay $45,680.36 in restitution.
Kakande and Lutale were arrested in April 2017 after an investigation by the California Department of Insurance and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) revealed Kakande and Lutale submitted over 200 fraudulent life insurance policy applications to various life insurance carriers to collect over $150,000 in unearned commissions.
The investigation found Kakande and Lutale conducted this advanced commission scheme by illegally using licenses from other licensees and obtaining personal information for the fraudulent applications by recruiting applicants with money and promises of free life insurance policies. They also stole identifying information and on some polices had themselves as the purported policyholders.