Leader of Bank Fraud Ring Sentenced to 14.5 Years in Prison
Las Vegas, Nev. – An Atlanta, Georgia man who organized and directed a criminal ring which utilized counterfeit debit and credit cards to steal more than $4 million dollars from the bank accounts of over 18 victims, has been sentenced to 14½ years in federal prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Ganiu Adisa Kosoko, 37, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan. Kosoko was also ordered to pay approximately $1.4 million in restitution and to serve five years of supervised release following his release from prison. Kosoko was convicted of five counts of bank fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of conspiracy on November 15, 2010, following a five-day jury trial. Four co-defendants were also convicted through guilty pleas and have been sentenced.
Kosoko and his co-conspirators produced counterfeit driver's licenses bearing the photograph of a conspirator and the identifying information of a bank customer. The co-conspirators then opened new bank accounts in Nevada, Georgia, and elsewhere, and obtained temporary debit cards. Kosoko, as leader of the conspiracy, maintained control over all of the identification and debit cards, so that only he could access and control the accounts. Co-conspirators, working at Kosoko's direction, would then initiate a funds transfer from the victim's old account to the newly-opened account, and withdraw money from the new account using the false identification cards and debit cards. The money, false identification cards, and debit cards were given back to Kosoko following the withdrawals, and Kosoko maintained control over all the proceeds and determined how to allocate the stolen funds to the co-conspirators. Some of the co-conspirators also worked for the victim bank and fraudulently accessed customer information, which was transferred to Kosoko and other conspirators. In total, Kosoko and his co-conspirators compromised numerous bank accounts and stole approximately $4 million from the victim bank.
The investigation was sponsored by President Barack Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly M. Frayn and Andrew Duncan.