This story is from Portland, ME (Hat tip: Susan). You folks in Maine sure are busy with your African immigrant scams. This is the third in just the last few months! First we heard about the home health care raid in Lewiston involving Somalis, then we heard about the woman (what a coincidence, also Nigerian!) posing as an immigrant rights activist who was convicted of embezzling money from the World Bank, and now this! Nigerian, Mercedes driving, medical student raises money for his elaborate purchases by stealing identities.
From the Portland Press Herald:
PORTLAND — A medical student from Chicago is facing federal charges in connection with an elaborate financial scheme he allegedly carried out while living in Portland and studying at Saint Joseph’s College two years ago.
Olumide Pidan, 30, was charged June 29 in federal court with one count of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. But court affidavits say he stole the identities of more than 80 people all over the United States.
If convicted, Pidan could face as much as 34 years in prison.
In court records, U.S. Postal Service investigators say Pidan admitted to using the Social Security numbers and birth dates of two men to set up checking, savings and credit card accounts at Bank of America.
Pidan is accused of inflating the credit limits in those accounts by making fraudulent cash deposits, then transferring cash to himself before bank officials caught wind of the scheme and closed the bogus accounts.
Investigators allege that Pidan stole $85,000 from the bank between January and August of 2007 and used the money for himself and friends. Some of his spending included $3,235 for items from Gucci in New York City, flowers delivered to three women in three different states, and $1,000 on designer shoes, according to court records.
Investigators say Pidan admitted to using the identities of between 80 and 100 people to steal money from various banks, although he only faces charges for misusing the identity of two men – one from Pennsylvania and one from Connecticut.
Read the rest of the article and ponder the fact that if this guy is not convicted and sent away, he could be your doctor some day!
I swear, these scams take some training! There must be seminars given in Africa (or in the case of food stamp fraud, in the Middle East) on how to put a scam together and sucker us dumb Americans. They probably even target some states as having more naive do-gooders than others.