States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|October 15, 2010||
Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force: FEDERAL JURY FINDS NIGERIAN CITIZEN GUILTY OF CREDIT CARD AND SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD CHARGES
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in Hartford has found SONNY ONOGWU, believed to be a 46-year-old citizen of Nigeria illegally residing in the United States, guilty of one count of access device fraud and one count of Social Security fraud. The trial began on October 12 and the jury returned the verdicts today after deliberating for approximately two hours.
According to the evidence presented during the trial, in September 2008, ONOGWU caused Discover Card to send him a replacement credit card in the name of a woman in South Carolina to an address in Bridgeport where ONOGWU collected mail. ONOGWU then activated the card and, over the course of two months, used it to receive cash advances and to purchase items such as gift cards, gas, and groceries in the total amount of $11,912.50.
On October 19, 2008, following an arrest for criminal impersonation, ONOGWU provided a Bridgeport Police officer with the name and Social Security number of an individual whose identity he had stolen.
The evidence at trial further revealed that ONOGWU possessed three Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles identification cards. The identification cards contained his photo, but were in the names of other individuals.
During the trial, the jury heard testimony from both the South Carolina woman whose credit card ONOGWU used, and a Vietnam veteran whose name and Social Security number ONOGWU had stolen.
When he is sentenced, ONOGWU faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a fine of up to $500,000.
ONOGWU has been detained since his arrest on March 6, 2009.
This investigation was conducted by the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, notably the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. The Task Force includes members of the United States Secret Service; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security; the Connecticut State Police; and the Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hartford, Manchester, New Haven and Shelton Police Departments.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Douglas P. Morabito and Peter S. Jongbloed.
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