We rely on the U.S. Postal Service to receive mail on an almost-daily basis. While many of us trust postal workers and expect that they will deliver mail timely and legally, some workers take advantage of their employment. They perpetuate fraud schemes and swindle innocent victims of money, checks, and other benefits.
Two men—one from Maryland and the other from Georgia—recently pled guilty to various fraud charges after using one man’s employment status as a mail carrier to steal credit cards and identities. On August 23, Johnson B. Ogunlana, 25, from Maryland pled guilty to mail theft by a postal employee, as well as aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and mail fraud, and access device fraud. The following day, 29-year-old Samson A. Oguntuyi from Georgia pled guilty to aggravated identity theft, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and mail fraud. Both are Nigerian nationals.
Ogunlana worked as a letter carrier in Brooklyn, Maryland. His duties included handling, sorting, delivering, and collecting mail, as well as securing mail in his custody. Between July 25, 2016 and February 5, 2019, Ogunlana and Oguntuyi conspired together to steal bank checks and credit cards found in the mail. They also used the names of postal customers and local businesses to open fraudulent business banking accounts.
Ogunlana would steal mail pieces containing credit cards and send photos of the stolen mail through a messaging application. Oguntuyi then used the victims’ personal information to activate the stolen credit cards and then obtain new credit cards without the victims’ knowledge. The men then activated the stolen credit cards and used them to make purchases.
The men also registered fraudulent businesses with state government agencies using stolen information from postal customers. The mail carrier also stole checks intended for various businesses, depositing them into fraudulent bank accounts. Both men would then use the money for debit card purchases, cash withdrawals, cash back transactions, and wire transfers.
In total, more than $565,000 was stolen from eight postal customers and two businesses. The two men each face up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and bank fraud. and mail fraud. Oguntuyi also faces up to 30 years in prison for bank fraud. Ogunlana faces up to 15 years in prison for access device fraud, as well as five years in prison for mail theft by a postal employee. Both men face a mandatory two-year prison sentence for aggravated identity theft.
Fraud is a common crime, and it has only gotten worse since the coronavirus pandemic. People often prey on those who are vulnerable, causing them to lose their hard-earned money and other assets.
Fraud is a crime that often comes with both state and federal charges. Seek legal representation from the Columbia white collar crime lawyers at The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. To schedule a consultation, call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form. We have two offices to serve you.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
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10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044