A 39 year old Nigerian man, Mr. Oluyinka Akinadewo was on Friday sentenced to 46 months in prison in connection with his participation in a scheme in which compromised identity information was used to commit bank fraud throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Akinadewo’s co- defendant, Olabimpe M. Olejiya, was earlier sentenced on October 11, 2012, to 35 months in prison for his participation in the scheme and his attempted flight from prosecution.
The sentencings, which took place in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, were announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Gary R. Barksdale, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Akinadewo a resident of Hyattsville, Maryland, pleaded guilty in April 2012 to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Olejiya, 31, also of Hyattsville, pleaded guilty in March 2012 to the same indictment. Both men were sentenced by the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Upon completion of their sentences, Akinadewo and Olejiya will be placed on five years and two years of supervised release, respectively.
The men were ordered to pay restitution of $90,987 to the financial institutions victimized by their scheme, and the court also ordered forfeiture of $90,987.
In a separate but related case, Olejiya pleaded guilty in May 2012 to a criminal information charging him with misuse of a U.S. passport. This charge arose from Olejiya’s attempt to flee to Canada to avoid prosecution for his participation in the bank fraud scheme.
Akinadewo previously was convicted of bank fraud in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 1996.
According to a proffer of facts agreed to by the government and Akinadewo at his plea hearing, from April through December 2007, Akinadewo was a member of a conspiracy that used the personal identifying information of two innocent victims to establish numerous bank accounts and credit accounts with various financial institutions and lenders.
The conspirators funded the fraudulent bank accounts opened in the names of the victims by depositing fraudulent checks, including stolen and altered checks, and making unauthorized wire transfers.
The conspirators then withdrew funds from the fraudulent bank accounts by writing and cashing checks from the accounts, making ATM withdrawals, and using debit cards associated with the accounts to purchase items, including money orders.
In addition, the conspirators used the fraudulent credit accounts in one victim’s name to make purchases and obtain cash advances.
In October 2007, Akinadewo used debit cards associated with fraudulent financial accounts that had been established in one victim’s name to buy thousands of dollars of money orders.
These financial accounts had been funded with $109,200 that was stolen from the victim via an unauthorized wire transfer from one of his legitimate bank accounts.
In September and October 2007, Akinadewo made and attempted to make several deposits into a fraudulent bank account that had been established in the victim’s name.
Two of these deposits were checks drawn on the fraudulent financial accounts. Akinadewo also provided checks associated with fraudulent accounts to his co-conspirators to either cash or deposit.
In total, the conspirators attempted to steal $363,939 by depositing stolen, altered, or otherwise fraudulent checks and wire transfers into the fraudulent accounts.
The conspirators were able to withdraw or spend $90,987 before the fraud was detected, causing the various financial institutions and lenders to suffer combined losses of $90,987.
On February 2, 2012, while Olejiya was awaiting trial on the charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, he removed the electronic monitoring equipment from his ankle and traveled to Lewiston, New York, where he attempted to enter Canada using the U.S. passport of his co-defendant Akinadewo.
After he was denied entry to Canada, Olejiya presented the same passport to U.S. border authorities as proof of his identity. U.S. border authorities scanned Olejiya’s fingerprints and discovered his true identity.
In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin, and Inspector in Charge Barksdale commended the investigative efforts of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the FBI Laboratory Division, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
They also praised the work of members of the U.S Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Lenisse Edloe, former Paralegal Specialist Sarah Reis, former Assistant U.S. Attorney John W. Borchert, Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Lucas (who assisted with the asset forfeiture aspects of the investigation), Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Cheatham (who assisted in the investigation and preparation of the case for trial), and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Seeley, who is prosecuting this matter.