Nigerian Man Sentenced For Wire Fraud And Identity Theft
HOUSTON – Olusegun Abayomi Martins, 36, a Nigerian citizen residing in Houston, has been ordered to federal prison for his convictions of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. He pleaded guilty May 13, 2014.
Today, U.S. District David Hittner, who accepted the plea, handed Martins a sentence of 18 months for the wire fraud conspiracy. He was further ordered to serve a mandatory and consecutive two years for aggravated identity theft resulting in a total sentence of 42 months in federal prison. He is expected to face deportation proceedings following completion of the prison term. He was also ordered to pay $64,565 in restitution to the victims.
Beginning in January 2011 and continuing through September 2013, Martins obtained fraudulent credit cards that utilized stolen identities and ran them through his storefront, First Choice Automotive on Empanada Drive in Houston. Martins knew the credit cards had been fraudulently obtained and ran the cards for money when no transaction had actually occurred. Furthermore, Martins knew the credit cards were run for amounts that greatly exceeded amounts of typical legitimate transactions.
Martins also opened multiple merchant processing accounts in order to extend the life of the fraudulent scheme.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Searle is prosecuting.