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Justice News

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

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Three Sentenced for Participation in Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Scheme

ERIE, Pa. - Residents of Indiana, New York and Georgia have been sentenced in federal court on their convictions of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

United States District Judge David S. Cercone imposed the following sentences:

Michael Idowu Olugbade, 45, of Brownsburg, Indiana – 30 months in jail and 3 years supervised release.

Alaire Sanya, 49, of Corona, New York – 30 months in jail and 3 years supervised release.

Olanrewaju Ajetunmobi, 45, of Austell, Georgia - 1 day in jail followed by 6 months community confinement, 6 months home detention and 3 years supervised release.

According to information presented to the court, Olugbade’s luggage, found in a co-defendant’s residence, contained stolen identities and tax return information. The ledgers in Olugbade’s luggage listed tax refund amounts and bank accounts in which the refunds were to be placed. IRS records show the data listed in the ledgers was 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 fraudulently obtained tax refunds. Those refunds were then withdrawn from ATM machines around the country.

A search of Sanya’s residence resulted in the discovery of hundreds of different stolen identities many of which were used by multiple co-conspirators in furtherance of their conspiracy. Sanya was also found in possession of numerous credit cards obtained using stolen identities.

Ajetunmobi, an accountant, used stolen identities supplied by co-defendants to file fraudulent federal tax returns, which falsely claimed farm income and a fuel tax credit in order to generate a tax refund on taxes that were never paid. The fraudulently obtained refunds were then deposited, via wire, into bank accounts which were opened using stolen identities.

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

Acting U.S. Attorney Song commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecutions of Olugbade, Sanya and Ajetunmobi.

Updated February 10, 2017