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Press Release

Fifth Nigerian Co-Conspirator Sentenced to Federal Prison in Nationwide Identity Theft and IRS Tax Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon
False federal tax returns filed using the personal identifying information of thousands of Oregon and Washington taxpayers

EUGENE, Ore. – On April 30, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken sentenced Oluwamuyiwa Abolad Olawoye, 32, a Nigerian citizen and recent resident of Georgia, to 108 months in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Olawoye’s sentence includes a two-year mandatory minimum for possessing or using a victim’s identity to commit fraud. He was also ordered to pay more than $3.2 million in restitution and will be subject to deportation when released from prison.

Four other co-conspirators, Oluwaseunara Osanyinbi, Oluwatobi Dehinbo, Lateef Animawun and Michael Kazeem, previously received federal prison sentences for their roles in the same conspiracy. In August 2017, the conspiracy’s leader, Emmanuel Kazeem, was convicted by a federal jury of 19 counts of mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and will be sentenced on May 17, 2018.

IRS agents recovered over 111,000 stolen taxpayer identities from Olawoye’s email and instant messenger accounts. More than 13,000 identities were from an Oregon company’s database that included over 5,500 Oregon residents. Olawoye received the database identities directly from Kazeem and obtained thousands of additional stolen identities from other unknown sources. In total, Olawoye was linked to more than 1,300 fraudulent federal tax returns seeking over $11.5 million. A review of his email account showed he wired over $387,000 in tax refund proceeds overseas.

This case results from a joint investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations with support provided by the Department of Treasury, Inspector General for Tax Administration, the U.S. State Department, and the Oregon Department of Revenue Policy and Systems Unit. The case is being prosecuted by Byron Chatfield and Gavin Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

Updated May 14, 2018

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft