A Nigerian man accused of obtaining more than 125,000 stolen taxpayer identities from across the United States, has been convicted in federal court in Oregon on 19 counts of mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
A jury in Medford returned the verdicts, Friday, against Emmanuel Oluwatosin Kazeem, 34, who lived most recently in Bowie, Maryland.
Prosecutors say Kazeem bought over 91,000 of the identities from a Vietnamese hacker who got into a database belonging to an Oregon company called CICS Employment Services.
Most of the personal information were used to file fraudulent tax returns between 2012 and 2015. Over 2,800 fraudulent returns were linked to Kazeem with attempted refunds in excess of $26 million and actual losses to the FG of nearly $7 million.
IRS criminal investigators traced more than 2,000 wire transfers involving $2.1 million dollars in fraudulent tax refunds wired to Nigeria by Kazeem and his co-conspirators, prosecutors said.
Kazeem passed many of the identities to his co-conspirators located in the Atlanta, Georgia, area and Nigeria. Prosecutors submitted evidence that Kazeem had invested more than $190,000 in cash into the recent purchase of a newly constructed home in Maryland.
He also used $175,000 in cash to buy a townhouse in Maryland shortly before his arrest and was in recent negotiations to build a hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. Kazeem is scheduled to be sentenced in Medford on Nov. 8.
Kazeem’s brother, Michael Kazeem, has also pleaded guilty to an indictment and awaits sentencing. Four other members of the gang —, Oluwatobi Rueben Dehinbo, Lateef Aina Animawun, Oluwaseunara Temitope Osanyinbi and Oluwamuyiwa Abolad Olawoye — were earlier indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2015.