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Debra Wong Yang
United States Attorney
Central District of California


United States Courthouse
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
Release No. 06-012

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2006
For Information, Contact Public Affairs
Thom Mrozek (213) 894-6947

TWO SOUTHLAND MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHARGES IN IDENTITY THEFT CASE INVOLVING PRIVATE DATABASE INFO


Los Angeles, CA - Two Southern California residents who possessed thousands of print-outs containing personal information fraudulently obtained from ChoicePoint Service and other companies have pleaded guilty to federal credit card fraud charges.

Lateef Oyewo, 36, of Lancaster, appeared this morning before United States District Judge George H. King and pleaded guilty to conspiracy, computer intrusion and credit card fraud.

Previously in this case, on November 29, 2005, Babaranti Jemiri, 35, of Van Nuys, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and credit card fraud.

When entering their guilty pleas, Oyewo and Jemiri admitted working together to obtain personal data - including names, dates of birth and social security numbers - and to use that data to fraudulently sign up for new credit cards or to "take over" already existing accounts. Both defendants also admitted having access to a storage locker containing thousands of ChoicePoint print-outs and credit card profiles, documents that were found by law enforcement authorities in July 2005.

Oyewo specifically admitted to accessing the Intelius database service under false pretenses and using that service to fraudulently obtain personal information belonging to other people. Oyewo also admitted to using a fraudulently obtained credit card to make unauthorized ATM withdrawals totalling $1,160 from just one account.

When he pleaded guilty last year, Jemiri admitted using credit cards obtained during the scheme to withdraw more than $3,300 in cash from a single account and to order more than $3,000 in goods from Internet retailers. Jemiri ordered the goods to be delivered to mailboxes he had opened up under assumed identities. Jemiri also pleaded guilty to possessing more than 15 credit cards belonging to other people.

The government estimates that the actual loss associated with the credit card fraud tied to Jemiri and Oyewo is more than $1 million.

Sentencing for Oyewo is scheduled for May 8, at which time he faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Jemiri is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6, and he faces up to 35 years in federal prison.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service.

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Release No. 06-012

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