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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 21, 2018

Middlesex County, New Jersey, Woman Admits Role In Credit Card Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft Conspiracy

TRENTON, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, woman today admitted participating in a credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Alexus Omowole, 22, of North Brunswick, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to an information charging her with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From July 2017 to January 2018, Omowole and Henry Abdul, a conspirator who was charged by criminal complaint in January 2018 in connection with the scheme, participated in a conspiracy to obtain control of and use credit card accounts of others through a fraudulent scheme commonly referred to as a “credit card takeover” scheme. In a takeover scheme, a person who is not the account owner or authorized user of a credit card account contacts the financial institution and poses as the account owner in order to change the personal information associated with the account to information familiar to the unauthorized user. The information changed may include the residence, email address, or telephone number associated with the account. These changes to the account are designed to give the unauthorized user control of the account without the actual account owners’ knowledge or authorization, and may permit the unauthorized user to receive new credit cards associated with the compromised accounts. Once in control of the account, the unauthorized users make purchases, transfer funds to other accounts under the user’s control, or sell the account information to third parties.

Abdul’s residential address was used as part of the takeover conspiracy, and both Abdul and Omowole profited from the conspiracy by using several compromised credit cards at various retail locations in New Jersey and elsewhere. Omowole admitted that the scheme caused between $150,000 and $250,000 in losses, and involved more than 10 separate victims.

The bank fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, which must run consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed by the Court. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2018.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael in Newark, New Jersey; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Ruth M. Mendonca, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas P. Grippo and David M. Eskew, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

The charges and allegations against Abdul are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty

Defense counsel: Joseph Benedict Esq. New Brunswick, New Jersey

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-177
Updated May 21, 2018