Prosecutors have accused a Nigerian man of trying to swindle nearly $27 million from an account in New York held by Ethiopia's central bank.

The U.S. Attorney's office in New York says Paul Gabriel Amos pleaded not guilty Friday to conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.

The government says the 37-year-old man sent fake documents to a Citibank office in New York where the National Bank of Ethiopia kept funds. The documents claimed to authorize transfers to accounts around the world controlled by Amos and coconspirators.

A complaint signed by FBI agent Bryan Trebelhorn said the fraud was discovered when the overseas banks returned funds to Citibank.

A court-appointed attorney said Amos was in plea discussions.