ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Alexandria man pleaded guilty today to a 15-year fraud scheme to obtain $366,716 in federal financial aid through U.S. Department of Education programs, stealing $136,000 in federal grant funds from the National Science Foundation, and making a false statement to receive a United States passport.
According to the criminal information and plea agreement filed in court, Adelaja Allen Arojuraye, 45, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, theft of government funds, and passport fraud, agreeing to $502,716 in forfeiture and restitution.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, by February 2001, Arojuraye received more than $50,000 in federal financial aid under his first social security number. As part of a scheme to obtain more federal financial aid, and avoid repayment of the debt, Arojuraye fraudulently obtained three social security numbers in his own name. Over a 15-year period, Arojuraye used two of the fraudulently obtained social security numbers to accrue $311,418 in debt that he either defaulted on or caused to be placed in forbearance without making any payments. In 2015 and 2016, Arojuraye used his father and mother’s social security numbers without permission to fraudulently receive another $55,298 in federal financial aid. During the execution of his scheme, Arojuraye lied on a U.S. passport application by entering “000-00-0000” as his social security number, even though he knew he had been issued multiple social security numbers.
In November 2012, Arojuraye falsely certified in a grant application to the National Science Foundation that he was not delinquent on any federal debt. Arojuraye received more than $136,000 in federal grant benefits based on the fraudulent application.
Arojuraye faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for wire fraud, 10 years for theft of government funds, and 15 years for passport fraud, when sentenced on August 11. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Steve A. Linick, Inspector General for the Department of State; Kathleen S. Tighe, Inspector General of the Department of Education; Michael McGill, Special Agent-in-Charge, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General; and Allison C. Lerner, Inspector General of the National Science Foundation, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton accepted the plea.
The case was investigated by the Offices of Inspectors General for the U.S. Department of Education, Social Security Administration, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Department of State. The federal agencies partnered with and received substantial assistance from the Northern Virginia Community College Police Department. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian D. Harrison is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-cr-082.