Man who misused commercial database sentenced to prison

As a follow-up to a case previously noted here, Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr. announced that a Queens, N.Y., man was sentenced to 141 months in federal prison today for supplying Social Security numbers to members of an identity fraud ring.

U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton also ordered Yomi Jagunna, 44, to pay approximately $3.2 million in restitution and to serve three years of supervised release upon the completion of his prison term.

Jagunna pleaded guilty before Judge Wigenton on May 8, 2009, to one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft. At his plea hearing, Jagunna admitted that he agreed with others to sell Social Security numbers of victims without their authorization.

Jagunna admitted he maintained an account with a commercial database provider in the name of Elam Collection Agency, which Jagunna held out to be a legitimate debt collection company. Using the database account, Jagunna looked up information relating to more than 100,000 individuals, including their Social Security numbers and provided them in person and by e-mail to co-conspirators for approximately $30 per Social Security number.

Jagunna is one of eight defendants who were charged in New Jersey between August and November 2008 in connection with an international identity theft and bank fraud ring.

The defendants conspired to deplete available funds from home equity lines of credit (“HELOCs”) and other accounts belonging to identity theft victims, either by engineering fraudulent withdrawals or by gaining unauthorized access to the victims’ on-line bank accounts. Six of the other defendants have pleaded guilty and the case against the sole remaining defendant, Hakeem Olokodana, 41, of Queens, N.Y., is pending trial.

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