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Credit-Card Thief Gets 7 Years

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A man who broke into a USC dorm, stole students' identities and ran up more than $400,000 in fraudulent credit-card bills has been sentenced to 87 months in federal prison. Victor Igbineweka, 26, also was ordered to repay $411,587 to the banks he defrauded.

Igbineweka pleaded guilty in September to bank fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.

He set up a front business in North Hollywood called Veromege Paintings, hung up mass-produced paintings to make it look legit, then used the business to get credit-card merchant accounts.

Igbineweka stole mail from "return to sender" bins at USC and UCLA, and used the pre-approved credit card applications to get credit cards in the names of students whose identities he stole. Then he charged $411,000 in bogus bills through Vermoege and sent a lot of the money back to his homeland, Nigeria.

When federal agents searched Igbineweka's apartment and arrested him in March, they found hundreds of pre-approved credit card solicitations, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

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