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Press Release

Two Defendants Convicted For Operating Multimillion-Dollar Business Email Compromise And Money Laundering Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that a jury returned guilty verdicts yesterday against OLUWASEUN ADELEKAN, a/k/a “Sean Adelekan,” and TEMITOPE OMOTAYO for conspiracies to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.  U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska presided over the one-week trial.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As a unanimous jury swiftly determined, Oluwaseun Adelekan and Temitope Omotayo were members of a years-long scheme to steal millions of dollars from businesses large and small across the globe and to launder their fraud proceeds domestically and internationally.  The two will now pay for their criminal activity and the harm they exacted upon their victims. ”

As reflected in the Superseding Indictment, public filings, and the evidence presented at trial:

Beginning no later than in or about July 2016, ADELEKAN and OMOTAYO agreed with others to impersonate trusted advisers and business partners of victim individuals and businesses, and to trick those victims into wiring millions of dollars into “business” bank accounts controlled by ADELEKAN, OMOTAYO, and their co-conspirators. 

After the victims wired funds intended for their advisers and business partners to ADELEKAN, OMOTAYO, and their co-conspirators, ADELEKAN and OMOTAYO caused those funds to be transferred quickly into different bank accounts in various locations throughout the world, including China and Nigeria.  ADELAKAN and OMOTAYO also created fraudulent invoices and contracts, using their victims’ identities, to be submitted to banks in support of the large volume of funds that were fraudulently transmitted via wire transfers.           

Through these false and deceptive representations over the course of the scheme, ADELEKAN, OMOTAYO, and their co-conspirators caused losses to victims in excess of $6 million.

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ADELEKAN, 39, of the United States and Nigeria, and OMOTAYO, 39, of Nigeria, were each convicted of (1) one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison; (2) one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison; and (3) one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory consecutive term of two years in prison.  The statutory maximum sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by Judge Preska.  The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on January 27, 2022.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of Homeland Security Investigations and Special Agents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Rebecca T. Dell, Daniel H. Wolf, and Robert B. Sobelman are in charge of the prosecution. 

Updated October 27, 2021

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 21-301