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Edgewood man sentenced to six years in federal prison for bank and mail fraud

Posted at 5:58 PM, Feb 18, 2022

BALTIMORE — An Edgewood man was sentenced to six years in federal prison and three years supervised release for bank and mail fraud conspiracy.

Johnson B. Ogunlana is ordered to $232,588 in restitution. Ogunlana worked as a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service (USPS) in Brooklyn, Maryland, according to his plea agreement.

From July 25, 2016, to Feb. 5, 2019, the 25-year-old and his co-conspirator, Samson A. Oguntuyi, conspired with others to steal bank checks, credit, and debit cards from the mail for financial gain.

As per his plea bargain, Ogunlana intercepted and stole mail pieces containing credit cards addressed to his victims and then shared images of the stolen mail pieces and credit cards to Oguntuyi and other conspirators using a messaging app.

Oguntuyi then utilized the victims' personal information to activate the stolen credit cards and get new credit cards that the victims had never sought or applied for. Members of the conspiracy used the stolen credit cards to make retail purchases when they were activated.

The scheme also registered phony businesses with state government entities using similar names to the victims' businesses to cash stolen checks. Conspirators also used stolen credit cards provided to identity theft victims to pay fees to register some of the bogus companies, using the names and identifying information of the identity theft victims as agents or incorporators.

Ogunlana stole checks payable to victim businesses whose mail was serviced out of the USPS facility where he worked.

Upon forging the signatures of identity theft victims, Oguntuyi and Ogunlana authorized some of the checks and deposited them into the phony business bank accounts opened by their accomplices. The money was transferred via cash withdrawals, debit card purchases and cashback transactions at retail merchants, wire transfers, and checks written on the accounts.

In total, the group managed to steal at least $565,000 in checks from two victims businesses, and at least eight postal customers were victims of identity theft.

Oguntuyi was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.