Man pleads guilty in bank fraud and mail theft conspiracy that operated in New Jersey and Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania man Thursday admitted his role in a bank fraud conspiracy that targeted 12 financial institutions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Olugbenga Oyedele, 48, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Oyedele was part of a multi-defendant, Nigerian-based, multi-layered criminal organization that engaged in a massive bank fraud conspiracy New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Rhode Island and other states from June of 2016 to June of 2020, according to court records. Members of the group acquired stolen business checks taken from the mail, altered the payee on the checks to a fraudulent name, and deposited the checks into bank accounts that had been opened with forged foreign passport documents and fraudulent U.S. visas that matched the names on the stolen checks. Once the banks credited all or a portion of the funds to the accounts – but before the checks had cleared – the defendants withdrew the funds from ATMs or purchased money orders, using debit cards associated with the fraudulent accounts.

Members of the organization have used over 400 fraudulent accounts opened with fake identity documents to defraud the victim banks. To date, the total loss to the victim banks is approximately $6 million.

Oyedele admitted his role in the conspiracy, which included using several false identities to open fraudulent bank accounts and making several deposits to and withdrawals from the fraudulent accounts.

The bank fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for June 1.

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