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Justice News

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

Monday, August 8, 2016

New York Man Pleads Guilty in Identity Theft Scheme

ERIE, Pa. – A former resident of Ozone Park, New York pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Abiodun Bakre, 51, pleaded guilty to nine counts before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Bakre opened numerous bank accounts using stolen identities for the purpose of using those bank accounts as repositories for fraudulently obtained federal tax refunds. In the course of the investigation, a search of Bakre’s residence uncovered multiple ledgers containing hundreds of stolen identities and numerous false identification documents which were used in furtherance of the conspiracy.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for December 8, 2016. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 36 years in prison, a maximum fine of $2,250,000 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 offenses 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 Bakre.

Identity Theft
Updated August 15, 2016