Identity theft used in plot to steal $400K from church accounts

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A scheme to steal $400,000 from a church fund ended in the arrest of a Las Vegas man on Friday.

Oluremi Akinleye, 40, was arrested following a federal indictment on Aug. 25 that accused him of a role in a conspiracy to fraudulently take money from accounts in the Pension Fund of the Christian Church and the Lutheran Church Extension Fund.

He is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud, one count of possession of 15 or more counterfeit and unauthorized access devices, and three counts of aggravated identity theft.

Akinleye could face a long prison term if convicted. Each count of wire fraud could carry a term of 20 years. His trial is scheduled Nov. 2 in the courtroom of US District Judge Gloria M. Navarro.

According to court documents, from November 2017 to July 2018, Akinleye and his co-conspirators conspired to steal money from accounts held by members of the Pension Fund of the Christian Church and the Lutheran Church Extension Fund. Both funds provide financial services to members of the religious community, including ministers.

As part of the scheme, Akinleye and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained the names and personal identifying information of certain account holders. Akinleye then used that information to impersonate those individuals, making withdrawals and transfers from their accounts, according to the US Attorney’s office.

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