Conspirator Pleads Guilty in Bank Fraud Scheme

March 14, 2012

Greenbelt, Maryland - Olumide Babafemi Ogunmakinwa, age 45, of Brandywine, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a bank fraud conspiracy where the defendants created counterfeit checks and stole money using misappropriated bank account information and the personal identifying information of individuals without their knowledge or consent.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Postal Inspector in Charge Daniel S. Cortez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; and Special Agent in Charge David Beach of the United States Secret Service – Washington Field Office.

According to Ogunmakinwa’s plea agreement, between February 2011 and March 2011, he participated in a bank fraud conspiracy in which his co-conspirators opened bank accounts at financial institutions in their own names, in false names, in the name of a spouse and in the names of corporations they controlled. The co-conspirators obtained checks from victim individuals and corporations, which they washed to remove the actual payees’ names listed on the checks, then printed the names of a conspirator, false names of a conspirator, or a company controlled by a conspirator onto the washed checks. Ogunmakinwa and other co-conspirators, then deposited these altered checks into accounts controlled by conspirators, including accounts controlled by Ogunmakinwa. In addition, co-conspirators misappropriated the name and bank account numbers of victim individuals and companies by printing that information onto counterfeit checks, which Ogunmakinwa and others deposited into accounts that they controlled at various bank branches in Montgomery and Prince George’s County, Maryland, and in Washington, D.C., thereby drawing funds off of the victims’ accounts. The conspirators then wrote checks on the accounts that contained victim funds, and either cashed them or deposited those checks into other accounts they controlled.

Ogunmakinwa deposited, cashed, and wrote at least nine fraudulent checks for a total loss of between $70,000 and $120,000. The offense involved between10 and 50 victims.

Ogunmakinwa faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence imposed, for aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for June 14, 2012, at 9:30 a.m.

Three co-conspirators have pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme. Two other conspirators are scheduled for trial on April 24, 2012.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Secret Service for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Christen A. Sproule, who is prosecuting the case.

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