Bank of New York Mellon Employee Charged with ID Theft

Computer Technician Alleged to Have Used ID's to Steal $1.1 Million A computer technician has been indicted in New York Supreme Court, charged with stealing the identities of more than 150 Bank of New York Mellon employees and using them to steal more than $1.1 million from charities, non-profit groups and other entities.

Adeniyi Adeyemi, a 27-year-old man from Brooklyn, was charged with grand larceny and identity theft in a 149-count indictment. Prosecutors say Adeyemi worked in the bank's Information Technology Department and committed the crimes between November 2001 and April 30, 2009. While employed at BONY, he stole the identities of dozens of employees and used them to open more than 30 bank and brokerage accounts with several financial institutions including E*Trade, Fidelity, Citi, Wachovia, and Washington Mutual. Prosecutors say Adeyemi used these accounts as dummy accounts for the purpose of receiving stolen funds.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office says Adeyemi then stole money from the bank accounts of charities and non-profit organizations and funneled it into those dummy accounts, later withdrawing the stolen funds or transferring them to a second layer of dummy accounts. The prosecutors say that charities are easy prey for identity thieves with computer expertise because they readily disseminate their banking details on the internet to facilitate donations. Adeyemi used this to his advantage, the prosecutors allege, using the internet for most of his crimes.

The charities and organizations that Adeyemi allegedly stole money from include: Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Iris Ministries, the Kalgidhar Trust, the Sudanese American Community Development Organization, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, AFK Foundation, the American Community School at Beirut, the Jacksonville Humane Society, American Friends of Birdlife International, the International Association of Women Judges, the Space Generation Advisory Council, and the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Prosecutors allege Adeyemi also stole from Bank of New York employees.

To stay under anti money laundering monitoring thresholds set by banks, Adeyemi is alleged to have structured all wire transfers to be just under $10,000. This is the threshold where all banks must report transactions to the US Treasury. He then allegedly used the stolen monies to purchase more than $100,000 in USPS money orders, and used them to pay personal expenses including apartment rent and credit card bills. He also redeemed the money orders to ship "substantial" amounts of goods overseas, primarily to Nigeria, prosecutors allege.

Law enforcement began watching Adeyemi after suspicious Internet activity was traced back to wireless Internet connection's in Adeyemi's apartment building in Brooklyn.

The New York/New Jersey Electronic Crimes Task Force of the United States Secret Service investigated the connections and found during a search of the building Adeyemi's apartment turned up dozens of Bank of New York employees' credit reports on his computer, along with many other documents that had personal information of more than 150 BONY employees. Adeyemi was arrested during the search and has remained in jail since April 30.

Law enforcement also found in a rented storage locker notebooks containing hundreds of names, social security numbers, account numbers and other personal data, along with numerous credit cards in Bank of New York employees' names. They also recovered $30,000 in cash from his apartment.

If convicted of all the 149 counts in the indictment, Adeyemi could face more than 50 years in prison.

About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.

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