The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office issued a press release involving the arrest and indictment of Adeniyi Adeyemi, a computer technician employed by the Bank of New York Melon. The 138 count Identity Theft and Grand Larceny indictment accuses the defendant of stealing the identities of 150 bank employees while perpetrating a $1.1 million dollar fraud. The fraud and thefts were alleged to have transpired from 2001 through 2009.
It is alleged that the victims of these crimes were many co-workers of Mr. Adeyemi who worked in the information technology group of Bank of New York Melon. According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Adeyemi “opened over 30 bank and brokerage accounts in their identities with several financial institutions, including E*Trade, Fidelity, Citi, Wachovia, and Washington Mutual. These accounts served as dummy accounts for the purpose of receiving stolen funds. Mr. Adeyemi then stole money from the bank accounts of charities and non-profit organizations and funneled it into the dummy accounts, later withdrawing the stolen funds or transferring them to a second layer of dummy accounts.”
Much of the money that Mr. Adeyemi is alleged to have stolen was used to purchase goods and ship them to Nigeria as well as to cover his personal expenses such as rent and credit card bills. Moreover, it is alleged that Mr. Adeyemi purchased $100,000 in USPS money orders after transferring funds through the fraudulent accounts.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, the police executed a search warrant at Mr. Adeyemi’s apartment on April 30, 2009. There, “investigators found dozens of Bank of New York employees’ credit reports on his computer, along with many other documents containing personal identifying information of more than 150 Bank of New York employees. In a storage locker Mr. Adeyemi rented, the investigative team found notebooks containing hundreds of names, social security numbers, account numbers, and other personal data, along with numerous credit cards in Bank of New York employees’ names. Investigators also recovered $30,000 in cash from Mr. Adeyemi’s apartment. Mr. Adeyemi was arrested in the course of the search warrant execution, and has remained in custody since.
The Grand Jury indicted Mr. Adeyemi on one count of Grand Larceny in the First Degree (punishable by up to 8 and 1/3 to 25 years in prison), 138 counts of counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree (punishable by up to 2 and 1/3 to 7 years in prison), one count of Money Laundering in the First Degree (punishable by up to 8 and 1/3 to 25 years in prison), one count of Computer Tampering in the First Degree (punishable by up to 5 to 15 years in prison), two counts of Money Laundering in the Second Degree (punishable by up to 5 to 15 years in prison), three counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (punishable by up to 5 to 15 years in prison), two counts of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (punishable by up to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in prison), and one count of Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the Second Degree (punishable by up to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in prison).
Certainly, it is not favorable to the defendant that a search warrant executed at his home revealed an abundance of personal information belonging to employees of the Bank of New York Melon. Moreover, the defendant’s IP address was likely tracked to a particular provider and then ultimately to his account (or an account used by him.) Certainly, others could have had access to his account and computer. Additionally, there are legal arguments to be made and potential challenges to the search warrant. However, regardless of the approach to this case, Mr. Adeyemi has a long road ahead of him and needs to decide the best defense to the accusations and implement that defense immediately.
Crotty Saland PC is a white collar criminal defense firm founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors. Jeremy Saland, has extensive experience prosecuting and defending Identity Theft crimes having served in the Identity Theft Unit and the Major Case Section when the unit was founded by Robert Morgenthau.
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