The sentencing follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore.
A jury convicted Adepoju of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft Aug. 24. According to the evidence presented at his four day trial in June 2010, a confidential source (CS) contacted HSI special agents to inform them that an individual identified as "Olu" and later identified as Adepoju, was offering to sell him identification documents for several thousand dollars. At the direction of HSI special agents, the CS advised Adepoju that the price was too high and the CS would not purchase the documents. Shortly after that conversation, in July 2010, Adepoju began discussing his plan to defraud a bank using the stolen identity of another individual.
From Aug. 16, 2010, to Oct. 2, 2010, law enforcement recorded and monitored conversations between Adepoju and the CS discussing the bank fraud scheme. During the conversations Adepoju explained to the CS that he would create fraudulent identification documents which the CS would then use to open up two bank accounts. Adepoju explained that after the account was opened, he would give the CS a fraudulent check in a large sum to be deposited into the account. Once this check cleared, the CS would withdraw the money and the two would split the proceeds.
On Aug. 31, 2010, Adepoju delivered an envelope to the CS containing what purported to be an IRS Employer Identification Number document, created in the name of "T.A." for a business called "T.A. Trucking" located in Temple Hills, Md. The second page of the document contained a handwritten note with the individual identification information of T.A., later verified as belonging to a real person. According to the trial evidence, on Sept. 1, 2010, Adepoju instructed the CS to open a personal bank account in the name of T.A. and a business account in the name of T.A. Trucking using the EIN he had previously provided. Adepoju informed the CS that once the accounts were set up he would deliver checks for the CS to deposit in the accounts. After learning from the CS that the accounts had been created, on Sept. 23 and 28, 2010, Adepoju delivered two Wells Fargo cashiers' checks, each made out to T.A. and dated Sept. 10, 2010, in the amounts of $28,000 and $70,500, for the CS to deposit in the accounts.
Testimony showed that Adepoju pressured the CS to get his share of the money and arrangements were made for a meeting Oct. 13, 2010. At the appointed time, Adepoju called the CS and advised the CS to meet him at another location. This set off a series of changed meeting locations by Adepoju. Law enforcement eventually called off the meeting, believing that Adepoju had seen their surveillance. Search warrants were then executed on Adepoju's home and his wife's vehicle and HSI special agents arrested Adepoju in the backyard of his residence.
Law enforcement recovered five cellular telephones, including the telephone Adepoju used to contact the CS, and a thumb drive, among other items. Analysis of telephone records revealed that the CS and Adepoju had been in contact at least 50 times during the scheme. Forensic analysis of the thumb drive showed images of several checks, some scanned checks drawn on actual accounts of individuals and businesses, and others that were attempts to manufacture blank checks utilizing that same information.
A number of documents were also seized during the search including two copies of the same Wells Fargo cashier's check: the original made out to a merchant and a forged version for a higher amount made out to Adepoju's wife.
Further HSI investigation showed that between July 28 and Sept. 20, 2010, bank accounts had been opened in the name of T.A. at Ally Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, BB&T and Bank of America utilizing the same address and information that Adepoju had provided to the CS.
At the time of his arrest in October 2010, Adepoju was on supervised release for a 2003 mail fraud conviction in U.S. District Court in Maryland for which he was sentenced to 57 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $698,627.96. At the time of his 2003 conviction, Adepoju was on supervised release for a bank fraud conviction in the District of Columbia for which he still owed restitution of $45,459. Adepoju has used over a dozen aliases and at least three Social Security numbers.
The case is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Judson T. Mihok and Mark W. Crooks.