A New York computer technician allegedly stole the identities of more than 150 Bank of New York Mellon employees and used them to steal more than $1.1 million from charities and non-profits, according to a 149-count indictment filed in New York Wednesday.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau told ABC News.com that Adeniyi Adeyemi, 27, of Brooklyn, NY, gathered personal information from dozens of employees while working at the bank's headquarters on Wall Street and at their other Manhattan locations. Over the next seven years, he used the stolen identities to set up more than 30 fraudulent bank and brokerage accounts, prosecutors allege.
"Adeyemi then stole money from the bank accounts of charities and non-profit organizations and funneled it into the dummy accounts, later withdrawing the stolen funds or transferring them to a second layer of dummy accounts," the District Attorney's Office said.
In hopes of receiving financial donations, many charities or non-profits publish their account information online and that's how Adeyemi orchestrated the thefts, prosecutors said.
Adeyemi is also alleged to have stolen from the employees themselves by using their personal identification information to change the contact information on their online banking profiles and then wire money to the phony accounts he had set up. In an attempt to fly under the radar, prosecutors said Adeyemi ensured all transfers were less than $10,000, so that the financial institutions involved weren't required to report the transactions to the U.S. Treasury.
At his arraignment Wednesday, Adeyemi plead "not guilty" and was denied bail.
"Obviously, it's a heavy indictment and we need to sort through it and you know, we'll come to some conclusions on how we're going to handle this case shortly," Adeyemi's attorney Joseph Tacopina told ABC News.com.
The U.S. Secret Service became aware of Adeyemi when they traced suspicious internet activity back to his apartment building earlier this year, according to the indictment.
Adeyemi was arrested in April after authorities searched his apartment and allegedly found his computer filled with bank employees' credit information. They also combed through a storage unit he rented, apparently discovering more than $30,000 cash and notebooks filled with hundreds of names and personal data, including credit card information.
If convicted, Adeyemi could spent the rest of his life in prison.