Saturday, April 1, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Bank Employee Faces |149 Fraud Charges

MANHATTAN (CN) - A computer technician stole the identities of more than 150 Bank of New York Mellon employees and used them to steal $1.1 million from charities and nonprofits, state prosecutors said. Adeniyi Adeyemi also stole directly from fellow employees' accounts, according to a 149-count indictment in New York County Court.

As a contract employee at Bank of New York in 2001, the 27-year-old Brooklyn resident allegedly used his access to computers to steal the identities of dozens of employees, mainly in the Information Technology Department where he worked.

In the years that followed, he opened up more than 30 brokerage accounts, or "dummy accounts," with the stolen identities at financial institutions, including E*Trade, Fidelity, City, Wachovia and Washington Mutual, District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said in a statement.

Adeyemi allegedly stole $120,000 from Goodwill, and hundreds of thousands of dollars more from lesser known organizations such as the Iris Ministries, the American Community School at Beirut, the Sudanese American Community Development Organization and the American Friends of Birdlife International.

The computer technician allegedly added his co-workers to his list of targets when he took control of employees' online banking and changed contact information, then wired money from their bank accounts into his dummy accounts.

And he bought more than $100,000 in money orders from the Postal Service using employees' stolen money, Morgenthau said.

Adeyemi allegedly ran his game from Nov. 1, 2001 to April 30, 2009. The suspicious online activity drew the attention of the U.S. Secret Service, which traced the action to wireless Internet connections and mail sent to Adeyemi's building.

A search of his one-bedroom apartment in Crown Heights turned up dozens of credit reports for Bank of New York employees on his computer, and scores of other documents that contained personal information of more than 150 employees, according to the DA.

Investigators searched his storage locker and found notebooks containing hundreds of names, Social Security numbers, account numbers and other personal data, prosecutors said.

Adeyemi was arrested and has been in custody ever since. He was arraigned Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to grand larceny, identity theft, money laundering, scheming to defraud, computer tampering and unlawful possession of personal identification information.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.