DEBRA W. YANG
United States Attorney
Central District of California
Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer
March 7, 2005
SAN FERNANDO VALLEY MAN WHO COMMITTED IDENTITY THEFT WITH INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM CHOICEPOINT SENTENCED TO 5 1/2 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
An Encino man who used personal information fraudulently obtained from ChoicePoint Service and other companies to commit identity theft against thousands of victims was sentenced today to 66 months in federal prison.
Adedayo Benson, a 38-year-old Nigerian national, was sentenced this afternoon by United States District Judge Gary A. Feess. In addition to the 5 1/2-year prison term, Judge Feess ordered Adedayo Benson to pay nearly $155,000 in restitution to 10 financial institutions.
On November 29, 2004, Adedayo Benson pleaded guilty to conspiring to use fraudulently obtained credit cards, attempting to use fraudulently obtained credit cards and using fraudulently obtained credit cards.
Previously in this case, Adedayo Benson's sister, Bibiana Benson, 39, of Sherman Oaks, was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison. Bibiana Benson - who pleaded guilty in September 2002 to unlawful use of identification - is appealing her sentence.
Adedayo and Bibiana Benson operated a nationwide credit card fraud scheme. Posing as a real estate agent, Bibiana Benson fraudulently opened accounts with several public records database firms, including ChoicePoint Services, Advantage Financial and Equifax. With access to the companies' databases, Bibiana Benson was able to obtain personal information on thousands of individuals. Bibiana Benson then sold the personal information to individuals around the country for between $40 and $65. The information sold to her brother and the others was used to establish credit card accounts and to takeover existing accounts. Bibiana Benson also used information from identity theft victims to obtain a cell phone, to open bank accounts and to establish credit card accounts. Bibiana Benson caused losses of more than $1 million.
Adedayo Benson, working with his sister, opened "mail drops" in Beverly Hills and Encino, where he would redirect mail from victims' credit card companies. Once he obtained victims' credit card numbers, Adedayo Benson fraudulently made purchases and obtained cash advances.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service.
Release No. 05-042
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