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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 12, 2018

Ringleader of Fraud Conspiracy Sentenced to 14 Years

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Maryland man was sentenced today to 14 years in prison for masterminding a fraudulent scheme that exploited the identities of at least 124 victims and caused over $870,000 in losses in less than two years.

According to court documents, Michael Oginni, 46, of Rockville, perpetrated fraud for over 20 years, using violence to exert control over his underlings. His schemes evolved from simple credit card fraud to a sophisticated operation designed to outsmart security features that the United States banking system had adopted, such as microchip-embedded credit cards. He was convicted of fraud-related offenses in the United Kingdom in the 1990s and advanced his criminal schemes in the United States after relocating to this country in 2007.

From 2015 to 2017, Oginni ran a conspiracy that exploited the identities of victims throughout the United States. Oginni ordered custom-made counterfeit drivers’ licenses bearing the photographs of his co-conspirators and the real information of his victims, including their real dates of birth and addresses. Then, he directed his co-conspirators to enter into fraudulent apartment leases in the Washington, D.C. area using those victims’ identities. The members of the conspiracy used the “new addresses” of their victims to receive important mail: debit and credit cards that he and his co-conspirators had applied for in the names of their victims. From there, Oginni and his co-conspirators wreaked havoc on the credit of their victims, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges for luxury goods and gift cards, and making high-interest transfers from credit accounts to debit accounts. Oginni used the fraudulent income to finance a lavish lifestyle, frequently entertaining escorts and making purchases of luxury goods.

Oginni’s co-conspirators, Lacola Nickens (1:17-cr-208), Andraliesha Jefferson (1:17-cr-92), and Robert McCrickard (1:17-cr-51), were each convicted and sentenced earlier this year.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Peter R. Rendina, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura Fong, Alexander P. Berrang, and Maya D. Song prosecuted the case.

Some of the charges were initially brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.

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-172 and Case No. 1:18-cr-231.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated October 12, 2018