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Press Release

Ringleader in Check and Credit Card Fraud Schemes Sentenced to Over 5 Years in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Already Served Nearly 41 Months in Florida State Prison for Conduct Related to the Schemes

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Egwolo Wilfred Otete, age 31, of formerly of Jacksonville, Florida and Beltsville, Maryland today, to 61 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for check and credit card fraud schemes with over 250 victims and losses of more than $468,000.  Otete has already served nearly 41 months in Florida state prison in connection with the schemes. Judge Bennett also ordered Otete to pay restitution of $468,534.42, the amount of the victims’ actual losses.  Otete was ordered to be surrendered to immigration authorities for deportation after the service of his federal sentence.   

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Brian Murphy of the United States Secret Service - Baltimore Field Office; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.                      

According to his plea agreement, from September 3, 2010 through March 1, 2011, Otete conspired with co-defendants Jimoh Babatunde Aderomilehin, Olaniyi Olalekan Akintuyi, Moyosore Fakeye, Obinna Stanley Okpala, and others, to execute a scheme to defraud financial institutions by depositing counterfeit checks into accounts at financial institutions and withdrawing the funds before the checks were returned as fraudulent.

Shortly after Otete arrived in the United States to attend college, he met Oluwaseun Sanya at a nightclub.  Soon, Otete became deeply involved in both the check fraud scheme and a counterfeit credit card scheme, and moved in with Sanya.  Their apartment became a central point where counterfeit checks and credit cards were produced and distributed, and fraud proceeds delivered.

In the counterfeit check scheme, Otete and others recruited students and others to allow the group to use their bank accounts to deposit counterfeit checks.  Otete also recruited bank employees to obtain account and personal information about bank customers, which he and Sanya used to create the counterfeit checks to be deposited into the students’ compromised accounts.  Once counterfeit checks were deposited, funds were withdrawn before the counterfeit checks could be identified as fraudulent and the deposits reversed.  Otete also conducted transactions himself.  Finally, Otete and Sanya received a substantial share of the proceeds after paying the students, the corrupt bank employees, and the costs of producing the checks.

In addition to the check fraud scheme, from October 2010 through November 2012, Otete conspired with co-defendants Aderomilehin, Fakeye, Akintuyi, Okpala, Hannah Moekay Konteh and others to execute a second scheme by obtaining stolen credit card numbers from individuals who worked in local businesses and “skimmed” credit cards.  The skimmed numbers were used to re-encode credit cards the defendants already had.  Otete and Sanya both had equipment to re-encode the credit cards and did so regularly.  Sometimes they were paid for the cards, and sometimes they received a percentage of the funds which were obtained by using the re-encoded cards.  Sometimes Otete directed co-defendants as to what to purchase.  In some cases, Otete, Sanya, or others involved in the conspiracy identified complicit tellers or cashiers to use for transactions.  Individuals traveled to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia and other locations to conduct transactions.  Eventually, Otete taught others, such as Fakeye and Aderomilehin, how to manufacture the counterfeit credit cards and they obtained their own equipment.

In March 2011, Otete was arrested.  A search warrant was subsequently executed at the apartment shared by Otete and Sanya.  Sanya had disposed of his own equipment, but had left Otete’s equipment to be discovered.  When he was released, Otete went to live with a friend of Sanya’s in Florida, and resumed credit card fraud as a way to pay his expenses.  On several occasions he arranged for co-defendant Hannah Konteh to visit him and assist by conducting fraudulent transactions.  Within months, Otete was arrested and detained for this conduct.  He was subsequently convicted and served a sentence of nearly 41 months for the Florida conduct.  Upon his release, he was transferred to Maryland for this case.

Otete and his co-conspirators attempted to obtain between $400,000 and $1 million as a result of the two fraud conspiracies, using the identities of more than 250 victims.

Oluwaseun Sanya, age 28, of Beltsville, Maryland; Jimoh Babatunde Aderomilehin, age 24, of Randallstown, Maryland;; Olaniyi Olalekan Akintuyi, age 25, of Baltimore; Moyosore Fakeye, age 27, of Baltimore; Obinna Stanley Okpala, age 24, of Baltimore; and Hannah Moekay Konteh, age 26, of Clinton, Maryland; Brianna Janet Turner, age 25, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland; Brittnee Ashanya Bellamy Handon, age 24, of Baltimore; and Nazrat Zaman, age 24, of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced.  Sanya was sentenced to 212 months in prison; Turner was sentenced to 65 months in prison; Konteh and Handon were each sentenced to four years in prison; Aderomilehin, Akintuyi, Fakeye, and Okpala were each sentenced to three years in prison; and Zaman was sentenced to six months.

Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Secret Service and the Montgomery County and Baltimore County Police Departments for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara L. Fine, who prosecuted the case.

Updated August 20, 2015

Financial Fraud