Gulfport, Miss – A dual U.S. and Nigerian citizen arrested in New York, one of twenty-one defendants indicted in a nine-count federal indictment filed in the Southern District of Mississippi, was sentenced today for his role in a conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis.
Olutoyin Ogunlade, 42, of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden on Thursday, August 13, 2015, to 48 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Ogunlade was also ordered to make restitution of $58,756.07 and was further ordered to forfeit $40,961. Ogunlade admitted to being part of an international organization involved in multiple on-line fraud schemes that included the use of victims’ personal identification, banking and credit information. Testimony presented showed Ogunlade was identified after the original indictment of the conspiracy and had been involved with the other conspirators for approximately one year prior to the May 2014 arrests.
The indictment alleges a West African transnational organized crime enterprise involved in numerous complex financial fraud schemes over the internet. This mass marketing fraud includes romance scams, re-shipping scams, fraudulent check scams and work-at-home scams, along with bank, financial and credit card account take-overs.
The investigation was initiated in October, 2011, by Homeland Security Investigations agents in Gulfport after U.S. law enforcement officers were contacted by a woman in Mississippi who was the victim of a sweetheart scam. The victim received a package in the mail requesting that she reship the merchandise to an address in Pretoria, South Africa. The investigation later revealed that the merchandise was purchased using stolen personal identity information and fraudulent credit card information of persons in the United States. Investigators have identified thousands of victims of this scam in the United States, resulting in the loss of millions of U.S. dollars.
The indictment is the result of an investigation led by the HSI Gulfport office in partnership with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, South African Police Service, Toronto Police, HSI Cyber Crimes Center, Treasury Executive Office of Asset Forfeiture, HSI Ontario, HSI Charleston, Interpol South Africa, HSI Pretoria and HSI Atlanta.
The case in Mississippi is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Annette Williams and Scott Gilbert along with Robert Tully of the Organized Crime Gang Section of the Department of Justice.