Sixth Local Pleads Not Guilty in Bank Fraud Case
Another Minnesotan who was charged in connection with an alleged $10 million bank fraud scheme entered a not-guilty plea on Tuesday.
Olugenya Temidayo Adeniran, 35, of Maple Grove joins five other Minnesotans who also pleaded not guilty on Monday.
The six local defendants are among 12 people who were charged last week in the case, which involves a network of bank employees. All 12 have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Adeniran, who is now in jail, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Keyes in St. Paul. In addition to his arraignment, he had also been scheduled for a detention hearing to determine if he would remain in custody-but that hearing has been postponed.
An indictment unsealed last week alleges that the defendants were part of a network that recruited people to use stolen identities to open bank accounts, acquire credit cards, obtain loans, tap equity credit lines, and distribute counterfeit business and personal checks. Through these means, the ring obtained cash and merchandise, according to the indictment.
Seven of the 12 defendants named in the indictment were arrested March 9 in Minnesota as part of what the government is calling “Operation Starburst.”
Adeniran stands accused of obtaining cash and purchasing merchandise totaling more than $300,000 from the Mall of America and Southdale Mall using fraudulent credit cards.
The fraud scheme was allegedly carried out in numerous states-including Minnesota, California, Massachusetts, Arizona, New York, and Texas-between 2006 and March 2011. Previous arrests were made in California.
The Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force, which led the investigation in the alleged bank fraud case, has previously said that it is likely to be among the largest of its type in the nation.