Nigerian Citizen Sentenced for Theft of Government Funds
St. Louis, MO – Olusola Luke, 38, a native of Nigeria and resident of Guatemala, was sentenced to 35 months imprisonment for his participation in a stolen identity tax fraud scheme.
According to court documents, Luke and others used stolen identities to unlawfully obtain data from U.S. Government computers and then used that data to seek $3.5 million in government funds by filing false tax returns in the names of the identity theft victims. Many of the fraudulent tax refunds were stopped and not paid by the IRS. Luke admitted he obtained more than $734,000 in fraudulent tax refunds as a result of this scheme.
Luke was sentenced for one felony count of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds before United States District Judge Henry Autrey. Luke has been in federal custody since April when he was arrested by the United States Marshals Service as he attempted to enter the United States. In addition to the sentence of imprisonment, Luke was ordered to pay $734,000 in restitution to the IRS.
Luke’s co-conspirator, Olefunsho Adeshina, also a native of Nigeria, is serving a sentence of 40 months imprisonment which was handed down in 2016 for his role in the conspiracy.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) Strategic Data Services Division, the Department of Treasury Inspector General for Tax and Administration (TIGTA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Cyber Task Force as part of their Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (SIRF) initiative which seeks to disrupt the multi-billion-dollar enterprise whereby Americans’ identities are compromised and used to defraud the government through the income tax system.
U.S. Attorney Jeffrey B. Jensen also credited the investigators of the many financial institutions and the persistence of the investigators of the U.S. Customs and Immigration - Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) team with their support of the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.