FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – Two brothers each were sentenced today to 30 months in prison for their roles in a conspiracy to steal customer account information to access victims’ home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), bank and credit card accounts in New Jersey and elsewhere, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Adewale Adenuga, 28, and Fuad Adenuga, 26, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., each previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft and wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler on September 28, 2010, and October 20, 2010, respectively. Judge Chesler also imposed the sentences today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this and related cases and statements made in court:
Adewale and Fuad Adenuga were part of a multistate identity theft ring that operated in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, and Florida, among other places. The Adenuga brothers gained access to confidential customer information and account information used by customers of banks, credit unions, and credit card issuers – including Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual, and TD Bank – to conduct financial transactions in the United States. They took account holder names, addresses, account numbers, social security numbers, and account balances, then used that information to conduct numerous fraudulent schemes – including frauds related to HELOC accounts, credit card fraud, and other schemes to withdraw funds from bank and credit accounts.
The Adenuga brothers and their co-conspirators withdrew thousands of dollars from bank accounts belonging to unknowing customers of banks and credit unions.
To further the fraud and avoid detection, co-conspirators traded confidential customer information over e-mail; impersonated bank customers on the phone and in person; changed customer address information in bank files; transferred money from existing accounts to newly created accounts in the names of victims of identity theft; and withdrew funds from the newly created accounts using debit cards at ATMs and cash money orders.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced the Adenuga brothers to three years of supervised release and ordered them to pay $177,217.72 in restitution. The sentence does not preclude them from facing additional civil penalties.
Co-defendant IbrahimYusuff has also pleaded guilty to the same charge, and is currently scheduled to be sentenced on July 21, 2011.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Postal Inspectors in Charge Philip R. Bartlett in Newark and Ronald Verrochio in New York; and special agents with the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian G. Parr in New York, with the investigation leading to the sentences.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian L. Urbano of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
Adewale Adenuga: Stephen Dratch Esq., Livingston, N.J.
Fuad Adenuga: David T. Schlendorf Esq., Toms River, N.J.