Las Vegas Man Indicted For Scheme Targeting Church Funds
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Oluremi Akinleye, 40, of Las Vegas, made his initial appearance in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain money from accounts held by members of the Pension Fund of the Christian Church and the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich of the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment on August 25, 2020, which was unsealed today, charging Akinleye with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud, one count of possession of 15 or more counterfeit and unauthorized access devices, and three counts of aggravated identity theft. Akinleye was arrested on August 28, 2020. A jury trial has been set before U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro on November 2, 2020.
According to court documents, from November 2017 to July 2018, Akinleye and his co-conspirators conspired to steal money from accounts held by members of the Pension Fund of the Christian Church and the Lutheran Church Extension Fund. Both funds provide financial services to members of the religious community, including ministers. As part of the scheme, Akinleye and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained the names and personal identifying information of certain account holders. Akinleye then used that information to impersonate those individuals, making withdrawals and transfers from their accounts. Through this scheme, Akinleye and his co-conspirators attempted to fraudulently obtain over $400,000 from the two funds.
The statutory maximum sentence is 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud; 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud; and 10 years in prison for possession of 15 or more counterfeit and unauthorized access devices. The statutory minimum for aggravated identity theft is two years in prison. In addition to imprisonment, Akinleye also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, monetary penalties, and asset forfeiture.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is the product of an investigation by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Simon F. Kung is prosecuting the case.