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After stealing more than $800,000 in COVID-19 unemployment payments, an Indianapolis man was convicted

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Following his guilty plea to wire fraud and theft, an Indianapolis man was sentenced on Friday for stealing over $800,000 in COVID-19 unemployment payments.

Temitope S. Adeboye, 32, admitted guilty to using fraudulent identification documents to obtain the aforementioned advantages.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and gave financial assistance to unemployed individuals. To combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud, the Attorney General formed the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force in May 2021.

Court records state that Adeboye purchased and utilized unemployment debit cards from Nevada in the names of identity theft victims from an undisclosed date until August 6, 2020.

The Department of Justice said in a release, “These individuals had not applied for unemployment benefits. In some instances, when the identity theft victim applied for benefits themselves, they learned that someone had already applied using their identity information.”

“Adeboye used the fraudulent unemployment benefits debit cards to purchase money orders and other items of value. When asked to verify his identity by cashiers, Adeboye used fake IDs in the names of the identity theft victims. He later used money orders that were purchased with stolen unemployment benefits to buy a Lexus.”

On August 6, 2023, Adeboye was taken into custody by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department police following a traffic stop. He was allegedly operating a vehicle with a suspended license.

Officers searching his car discovered: 96 State of Nevada-issued unemployment debit cards, all with different names; a $1,501.76 Kroger receipt; many money orders from Western Union, the USPS, and MoneyGram; and $76,680 in US dollars.

Zachary A. Myers, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, stated as much in the press statement.

As the pandemic raged across the country in 2020, fraudsters embraced the motto, ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste.’ While countless individuals experienced tremendous grief as loved ones passed away and the strain of isolation grew, this defendant saw an opportunity to steal money and identities. The Department of Justice and our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement are committed to identifying and prosecuting the criminals who took advantage of the global crisis to scheme and steal. This prison sentence demonstrates that these thieves will have a price to pay in federal court.” Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.

Adeboye received a 57-month sentence to serve in federal prison. He will also be required to make restitution of $804,460.54 after being released from prison.

 

 

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