Ray Ekobena, 27, of Alexandria, and his brother, Stefan Ekobena, 24, of Atlanta, were sentenced today for leading a five-year check fraud and identity theft conspiracy. Co-conspirator Rodney Hardy, 25, of Hyattsville, Maryland, was also sentenced today for his role in the scheme.
According to statements of fact filed with the plea agreements, Ray Ekobena and his younger brother, Stefan Ekobena, printed fraudulent checks using victims’ bank account information. The Ekobenas’ obtained this information by enlisting bank tellers and other insiders who had access to sensitive personal information through their employment. Co-conspirators such as Rodney Hardy, Jerome Johnson, Gani Cole, Deallto Davis and Alan Lamin furthered the conspiracy by depositing the fraudulent checks into bank accounts under false names and withdrawing the resulting funds before the banks discovered the fraud. Ray Ekobena also obtained loans in the names of his identity theft victims to buy luxury vehicles including a Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, and a tractor-trailer.
In total, the conspiracies victimized over 200 individuals and caused an actual loss amount of $712,231, and an intended loss amount of over $1.25 million. Victims include well-known small businesses and charities, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Children’s National Medical Center.
|Ray Ekobena||27||Alexandria||Sentenced today to 104 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Ordered to forfeit $712,231.22 and pay that amount in restitution.|
|Stefan Ekobena||24||Atlanta, Georgia||Sentenced today to 66 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Ordered to forfeit $199,808.29 and pay that amount in restitution.|
|Rodney Hardy||25||Hyattsville, Maryland||Sentenced today to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Ordered to forfeit $20,618.41 and pay that amount in restitution.|
|Jerome Johnson||32||Washington, D.C.||Sentencing scheduled for Dec. 4, 2015|
|Deallto Davis||20||Washington, D.C.||Sentencing scheduled for Dec. 4, 2015|
|Gani Cole||27||Atlanta, Georgia||Sentencing scheduled for
Jan. 22, 2015
|Alan Lamin||25||Washington, D.C.||Sentenced on July 8, 2015 to 54 months in prison. Ordered to forfeit $124,640.87 and pay that amount in restitution.|
SOURCE: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Virginia