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Press Release

D.C. Woman and Maryland Man Indicted for Conspiring to Launder Stolen Government Funds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON – A three-count indictment was unsealed yesterday in U.S. District Court charging a District woman and a Maryland man with conspiring to launder proceeds from a scheme to steal government benefit funds provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and other government funds.

            The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration (SSA) - Office of Inspector General (OIG) Philadelphia Field Division, and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the U.S. Capitol Police.

            Roliat Abosede Owosho, aka “Rolash,” 48, was arrested yesterday and Afeez Olamide Lawal, aka “Fizzy,” 43, was arrested May 22, 2024, and were released following their initial appearances in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

            According to the indictment, Owosho and Lawal conspired to launder both stolen government SSA benefit funds intended for social security recipients as well as additional stolen government funds derived from a scheme in which conspirators caused the money to be directed to accounts controlled by the co-conspirators. As alleged, Lawal and Owosho laundered proceeds from the scheme to defraud from at least January 1, 2018, through about January 31, 2021. Lawal and Owosho received the stolen funds into their personal accounts. They either used the stolen funds for their personal use or further transferred the stolen funds to others without authority from the intended recipients. The two received more than $148,667 in SSA, unemployment payments, and tax refunds that did not belong to them.

            The indictment further charged Owosho with using her bank accounts to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business in the District and conducting money transmissions without a license. Specifically, the indictment alleges that Owosho transferred funds on behalf of others through her accounts without registering as a money transmitting business with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), did not obtain a money transmitting license in the District of Columbia, and/or was otherwise involved in transmitting funds known to have been derived from a criminal offense or were intended to be used to promote or support unlawful activity.

            This case is being investigated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) - Office of Inspector General (OIG), and the U.S. Capital Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Lucas of the Fraud, Public Corruption, and Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, with valuable assistance provided by Paralegal Specialist Lisa Abbe.

            An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

Updated May 24, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-460