BALTIMORE — Three men from the Baltimore area face wire fraud charges after authorities say they tried to sell COVID-19 vaccines using a website they copied from a vaccine maker.
Investigators charged the following people:
- Olakitan Oluwalade (“Olaki”), age 22, of Windsor Mill, Maryland
- Olaki’s cousin, Odunayo Baba Oluwalade (“Baba”), age 25, of Windsor Mill
- Kelly Lamont Williams, age 22, of Owings Mills, Maryland
According to investigators, the men copied the website modernatx.com to create the website Modernatx.shop. The source code of modernatx.shop revealed that it was a copy.
The fake site included the words, "YOU MAY BE ABLE TO BUY A COVID-19 VACCINE AHEAD OF TIME,” with a link to “Contact us,” investigators stated.
An undercover agent contacted the website, offering to buy 200 doses at $30 per dose.
The undercover agent was allegedly instructed to send payment to a Navy Federal Credit Union account in the name of Kelly Lamont Williams. The undercover agent sent a portion of the money to Williams' account, per instructions.
On January 15, 2021, agents searched William's home. After the search at Williams’s home, but before the searches at Olaki’s and Baba’s homes, investigators used Williams’s phone to send Baba a message: “Yo where u want me send the bread?” ). Baba allegedly replied, “Yea send me some thru zelle and some through cash app.”
Williams allegedly agreed to allow the conspirators to use his bank account to deposit the fraud payments in exchange for a cut of the fraud proceeds.
Olaki allegedly was also supposed to receive a part of the fraud proceeds. Several of the recovered communications also indicated that Olaki allegedly applied for, and received a fraudulent COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan funded by the federal government in the summer of 2020.
If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The defendants will have an initial appearance on February 12, 2021, in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.