A man in Ghana has been sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for using stolen credit-card numbers to siphon more than $400,000 from U.S. citizens.
A judge also ordered Ademola Ismaila Adegoke to serve two years of supervised release after his prison term. Adegoke agreed to pay nearly $700,000 restitution after pleading guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft July 30, 2010.
According to court documents, Adegoke is a Nigerian national who was living in Accra, Ghana’s capital. He used local Internet cafÃ©s in Accra to access email accounts and VoIP services, which made it seem as if he was calling from the United States.
After buying stolen credit-card information online, Adegoke then used those numbers to purchase airline tickets from U.S. travel agencies, as well as directly from airlines. He emailed and faxed copies of fraudulent passports and drivers licenses as well as images of credit cards with the stolen credit-card number transposed over a blank card to the travel agency or airline. Whenever he was able to convince the travel agency or airline to issue a ticket, he would call back, speak to the same agent, and purchase additional tickets for customers who would pay him a fraction of the cost of the full fare.
With the scheme, Adegoke was able to buy more than 5,000 stolen credit-card numbers and was responsible for more than $400,000 in losses as a result of this scheme.
On May 5, 2010, the Ghanaian Police, in cooperation with U.S. law enforcement, arrested Adegoke in Accra. He was extradited from Ghana to the United States, where he arrived June 28, 2010.