East Orange Man Convicted of Wire Fraud

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man was convicted for his role in a scheme to steal victims’ personal information, use it to obtain replacement credit cards and then use the cards to purchase high-value items from retailers, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Federal official say, Richard Adebayo, 42, of East Orange, New Jersey, was convicted June 27, 2019, on all counts of an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 14 counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft following a nine-day trial before Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court. The jury deliberated one day before returning the guilty verdicts.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

Adebayo and Amos Peter Agbajaife, 41, of Newark, were originally charged by complaint on in September 2014 and indicted in January 2019. Adebayo was arrested in 2014 and Agbajaife remains at large.

From March 2014 to April 2014, Adebayo and Agbajaife fraudulently obtained personal identifying information, including dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and passwords, of credit card holders. They used the information to fraudulently obtain replacement credit cards in the victims’ names and then used the cards to purchase high-value items from retail stores.

Adebayo was carrying a laptop computer when he was arrested. A forensic analysis of the computer revealed the stolen identities, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, bank account information, and credit card information of several victims. Law enforcement confirmed that more than $200,000 in fraudulent charges were incurred on the credit cards of the victims.

Each count of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gain to the defendant or loss to another, whichever is greater. The counts of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory term of two years in prison, which must run consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed for other counts of the indictment. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 25, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael, with the investigation leading to conviction.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Catherine Murphy and Jamel Semper of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

The pending charges against Agbajaife are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.