A Hanover, Maryland man pleaded guilty Friday to his role in a check theft and forgery scheme that cost victims almost a half million dollars.
From July to September 2021, Akinbobola Komolafe and co-conspirators stole checks from U.S. mail, a large portion of it outgoing correspondence from the area around Glen Echo, Maryland. The scheme resulted in losses of $486,716.
Once the checks were found, the recipient and the payment amount were changed.
For example, one check of $43.20 sent to a medical practice was altered to send $40,000 to one of the conspirators, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said.
Another check, originally worth $140 and intended to pay a doctor, was altered to be worth $30,000.
Surveillance footage at Wells Fargo branches in Arlington and Falls Church showed Komolafe depositing the checks, easily identifiable by his distinct clothing.
Once the illegal gains were deposited, the conspirators divided up the money amongst themselves. For his trouble, Komolafe personally received or shared in no less than $100,000 of the proceeds.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia did not specify what charges or how many counts thereof Komolafe was convicted for.
Komolafe’s indictment says that he was charged initially with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and four counts of bank fraud.
Komolafe will be sentenced on July 28, 2023, and faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
• Brad Matthews can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.