A New York computer technician has been charged with stealing the identities of more than 150 Bank of New York Mellon employees and using them to orchestrate a scheme that netted him more than $1.1 million, prosecutors said this week.
Adeniyi Adeyemi, 27, of Brooklyn was indicted Wednesday on charges of grand larceny, identity theft and money laundering for crimes allegedly committed between Nov. 1, 2001 and April 30, 2009, according to a news release from Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.
According to prosecutors, Adeyemi, who was employed as a computer technician working at the headquarters of Bank of New York, stole the personal information of dozens of bank employees, primarily from individuals in the information technology department. He then used the identities to open bank and brokerage accounts, which served as “dummy accounts” to receive stolen funds.
Adeyemi then stole money from the bank accounts of numerous charities and nonprofit organizations, and transferred the funds into the dummy accounts, which he later withdrew or transferred to other accounts, prosecutors said.
“In the interests of facilitating donations, many charities readily disseminate their banking details on the internet, making them easy prey for unauthorized withdrawals by identity thieves, particularly those with computer expertise, such as Adeyemi,” the release said. “Most of Adeyemi's theft was perpetrated over the internet.”Adeyemi also allegedly stole directly from Bank of New York employees by wiring money from the individuals' personal bank accounts into his dummy accounts.
The 149-count indictment also includes charges of computer tampering, scheme to defraud and unlawful possession of personal information, prosecutors said. The grand larceny and money laundering charges alone carry a penalty of up to 25 years in prison.
U.S. Secret Service investigators found credit reports of dozens of Bank of New York employees on his computer, prosecutors said. In addition, notebooks containing hundreds of names, Social Security numbers, account numbers and other personal data, along with numerous credit cards with names of Bank of New York employees, were found in a storage locker he rented.
Adeyemi's lawyer was not available for immediate comment Friday.
“We strongly support the investigation and the actions taken by the district attorney's office and we are fully cooperating,” a Bank of New York spokesman told SCMagazineUS.com on Friday.