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Press Release

Maryland Real Estate Investor Sentenced for Stealing a Residence in Northwest Washington D.C.

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Fraudulently Transferred Title of a District Residence

            WASHINGTON – Franklin A. Olaitan, 51, of Beltsville, Maryland, was sentenced to 40 months in prison for stealing a residential property in Northwest Washington D.C., announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Scott of the Washington Field Office Criminal and Cyber Division. The sentence was handed down on Friday, February 16, 2024, by U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman who also ordered Olaitan to serve three years of supervised release, to not buy or lease any properties during the period of supervised release, to pay at least $580,663.73 in restitution and a $111,159.63 criminal forfeiture money judgment and pay a $100 assessment.

            Olaitan pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols on Aug. 15, 2023, to one count of wire fraud. As part of the plea, Olaitan admitted he caused the filing of a false deed transferring the property, which he immediately resold to a third-party, pocketing the sale proceeds. As a result of the fraudulent scheme, Olaitan caused over $600,000 in losses to the various victims.

            According to the government’s evidence, between September 23, 2016, through March 22, 2017, Olaitan stole a real property on First Street, NW, using a fake deed and other falsified documents in order to rapidly sell the property, pocketing the sale proceeds, and defrauding the true owner of the property, settlement company, mortgage lenders, title company, and the buyer. Olaitan impersonated the victim owner through false documents which enabled him to get away with his theft for a significant time during which the buyer of the property spent over $600,000 renovating the property.

            Olaitan was arrested Dec. 15, 2021, in the District.

            The FBI’s Washington Field Office conducted the investigation.

          Assistant U.S. Attorneys Diane Lucas and Christopher Howland prosecuted the case with valuable assistance from Paralegal Specialists Lisa Abbe and Liliana Villamizar, Victim-Witness Service Coordinator Tonya Jones, Supervisory Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling, Litigation Technology Specialist Jeanie Latimore-Brown, and former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derrick Williams and Veronica Sanchez.

Updated February 18, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-149