Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Adeyanju Adewale, age 40, of Reisterstown, Maryland, to five years in federal prison, followed by one year of home detention as part of three years of supervised release, for a wire fraud conspiracy that resulted in a loss of millions of dollars to Medicaid, businesses, law firms, financial institutions, individuals, and to the state and federal governments. Judge Bennett also ordered that Adewale must pay restitution of $4,258,587.03.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Karen L. Brown Cleveland of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (“DSS”) – Washington Field Office; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) Baltimore; and Special Agent in Charge Maureen Dixon, Office of Investigations, Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS-OIG”).
According to his plea agreement, between 2018 and 2022 Adewale coordinated a series of frauds with various co-conspirators. Adewale assisted co-conspirators to obtain fraudulent identification documents that were used to perpetrate the fraud. Co-conspirators created shell companies and used shell company names and false, forged and counterfeit identification documents, including passports, to open bank accounts. Adewale obtained the bank information from his co-conspirators and communicated with his foreign conspirators about where the fraud proceeds should be directed. The foreign co-conspirators caused the victims to be misled into sending their money to those accounts. Adewale also served as a go-between with conspirators outside the United States and the U.S.-based bank account holders.
For example, as detailed in the plea agreement, in January 2019, Adewale worked with co-conspirators to fraudulently obtain money through a business email compromise scheme that victimized a business in Virginia that was seeking to disburse settlement funds. The victim business sent more than $400,000 to the bank account of an individual in Maryland who used the funds from the victim to purchase $71,000 and $62,000 cashier’s checks and caused the cashier’s checks to be delivered to an address in Baltimore used by Adewale. Adewale caused checks to be deposited into bank accounts controlled by co-conspirators and provided information about the companies associated with those bank accounts to members of the conspiracy located outside the United States. Adewale shared in the proceeds of the fraud.
During 2020, Adewale also participated in hospital frauds targeting Medicaid. Specifically, Adewale and his co-conspirators obtained money that the Ohio and Colorado Medicaid programs and the state of Ohio, sought to pay hospitals in Ohio and Colorado, including as reimbursement for health care services. As part of the fraud, false information was sent to an Ohio government office and Colorado Medicaid regarding the bank accounts on file for the hospitals. As a result of the fraudulent representations, from July to September 2020, the state of Ohio transferred approximately $3.5 million to a bank account controlled by a co-conspirator. The majority of the funds were quickly removed by the co-conspirator, transferred via check to other accounts. Similarly, in September 2020, fraudulent information was provided to representatives of Colorado Medicaid regarding the bank account on file for the hospital in Colorado. Later that month, Colorado Medicaid sent approximately $610,000 to a bank account controlled by the conspirators. Again, Adewale shared in the proceeds of the fraud schemes.
Adewale admitted that as a result of the fraud schemes the actual fraud losses exceeded $4.2 million, including more than $1 million in actual losses to a federal health benefit program, specifically, Medicaid.
“The Diplomatic Security Service is pleased with the success of this case. This shows the positive outcome when federal agencies work together to stop criminals from exploiting U.S. passports for illegal profit,” said Karen L. Brown Cleveland, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Washington Field Office of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). “We’re committed to investigating U.S. business operators who acquire U.S. passports to carry out criminal activities.”
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron and Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri praised the DSS, HSI, and HHS-OIG for their work in the investigation and thanked the FBI for its assistance. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Harry M. Gruber and Tamera Fine and Justice Department Trial Attorneys Gary A. Winters and Christopher Wenger of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, who prosecuted the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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