Nigerian citizen Blessing Adeleke has been sentenced to more than three years in prison by US District Court Judge James Gwynn.
The 31-year-old was convicted of conspiracy to obtain stolen financial information, fraudulent purchases of retail merchandise and gift cards and theft of money from bank accounts in Northern Ohio and elsewhere.
Adeleke was arrested in Ghana in March 2022 and convicted by a jury in October 2022 of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and 16 counts of bank fraud.
Between January 2014 until October 2016, Adeleke served as administrator of an online marketplace where hacked data, including credit numbers and personally identifiable information (PII), was sold.
Adeleke shared the stolen credit card information with others, including co-defendant, Kylie Ann Harlow and purchased items for themselves.
Court documents show how Adeleke and Harlow shipped merchandise purchased with victims’ money and in some cases returned merchandise and gift cards to get the cash.
Adeleke gained access to at least one bank account belonging to a victim in Pepper Pike, Ohio, from which she sent 16 fraudulent checks.
Harlow was sentenced in June 2021 after pleading guilty to her role in the scheme investigated by the Cleveland FBI and tried by Assistant US Attorneys Brian Deckert and Daniel Riedel.
The US Department of Justice thanked the Ghanaian Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s Office for assistance in Adelek’s extradition.
The FBI Legal Attache in Accra and the US Marshals Service also provided significant support and assistance for the repatriation of the convict.
A Nigerian arrested in Ghana has been sentenced to US prison for bank fraud