Four men from Atlanta Georgia were sentenced this week by United States District Judge Orinda D. Evans on charges of bank fraud, credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft.
“In this case two sales associates who worked for retail establishments assisted others in committing credit card fraud,” said Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. Carlton J. Maxey, 40, a sales associate at the Louis Vuitton store in Lenox Mall, and Lee Sterling Brockwell, 32, a sales associate at the Gucci store in Phipps Plaza, each allowed Aghedo Pius Iyamu, 43, James O. Omotosho, 39, and others to purchase more than $100,000 in merchandise when each knew that Omotosho, Iyamu, and the others were using fraudulent credit cards to do so.
Maxey was sentenced to 2 years in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $199,293 in restitution. Brockwell was sentenced to 4 months in a halfway house to be followed by 4 months of house arrest, to be then followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $116,589 in restitution. Omotosho was sentenced to 10 years in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $288,318 in restitution. Omotosho was illegally present in the United States when he committed the offenses. He was ordered deported to Nigeria after he serves his prison sentence. Iyamu was sentenced to 5 years, 10 months in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $173,549 in restitution. He was also illegally present in the United States when he committed the offenses and was also ordered deported to Nigeria after he serves his prison sentence.
According to Acting United States Attorney Yates, the evidence presented at trial and other information presented in court: Omotosho and Iyamu, acting independently of each other, obtained pre-approved credit card applications that had been stolen from the mail. They also obtained the legitimate dates of birth and social security numbers of the persons to whom the stolen credit card applications were sent. They then submitted the pre-approved credit card applications with identity theft victims’ names and legitimate dates of birth and social security numbers, but with mailing addresses changed to addresses they controlled, to American Express, Chase Bank, Bank of America, Capitol One and other credit card companies. The credit card companies would then issue credit cards based on the fraudulent applications and mail them to the addresses that they had put on the applications.
In another instance, Iyamu obtained a legitimately issued American Express credit card that was stolen from the mail and through fraudulent means activated the account.
Brockwell was a sales associate at the Gucci store in Phipps Plaza and was personally acquainted with both Omotosho and Iyamu, and knew their true identities. Brockwell waited on them on numerous occasions when they purchased thousands of dollars worth of merchandise using credit cards in names other than their own.
Maxey was a sales associate at the Louis Vuitton store in Lenox Mall and was also personally acquainted with Iyamu and knew his true identity. Maxey waited on Iyamu on numerous occasions when he purchased thousands of dollars worth of merchandise using credit cards in names other than his own. On one occasion, Maxey sold Iyamu a $20,000 watch that the latter purchased with a stolen American Express credit card that was issued to a third party.
Omotosho, Iyamu, and Maxey also committed bank fraud. Omotosho, using an alias, opened bank accounts in fictitious business names. Iyamu obtained the bank account number, ATM card and PIN of an account opened by Maxey. Omotosho and Iyamu obtained counterfeit checks purportedly drawn on lines of credit accounts of customers with Bremer Bank in Minnesota. They deposited those checks into the accounts they were using to commit fraud. They also made deposits into these accounts of stolen “convenience” checks issued by credit card companies to legitimate customers. They also deposited “convenience” checks which were issued on the fraudulent credit card accounts. Omotosho, Iyamu and others would then withdraw the funds from the accounts before the fraudulent nature of the deposit items was discovered by the victim financial institutions.
Omotosho attempted to commit more than $900,000 in fraud through various bank fraud and credit card fraud schemes. Iyamu and Maxey attempted to commit more than $300,000 in fraud through various bank fraud and credit card fraud schemes. Brockwell committed more than $100,000 in credit card fraud.
This case was investigated by Inspectors with the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney William L. McKinnon, Jr. prosecuted the case.