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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Former New York Man Pleads Guilty in Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme

ERIE, Pa. – A former resident of New York pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Michael Idowu Olugbade, 45, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Olugbade’s luggage was found in a co-defendant’s residence containing stolen identities and tax return information. The ledgers listed tax refund amounts and bank accounts in which the refunds were to be placed. IRS records show the data listed in the ledgers were correct, in that the exact same refund amounts listed were deposited in the same bank accounts listed. Also found in the luggage were debit cards for fraudulent bank accounts opened using stolen identities. Bank accounts opened by Olugbade received fraudulent tax refund deposits. Those refunds were then withdrawn from ATM machines in or around Baltimore, Maryland.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for February 6, 2017. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of loss to the victims, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Olugbade.

Updated October 6, 2016