Former bank technician pleads guilty in identity-theft scheme

Prosecutors say ex-contractor stole data from 2,000 bank employees and siphoned $1.1 million from nonprofits.

A former contract IT technician at the Bank of New York Mellon Corp. pleaded guilty to charges that he stole personal information from 2,000 bank employees and used the data to steal more than $1.1 million from charities and nonprofits.

Adeniyi Adeyemi, 27, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty to first-degree grand larceny, first-degree money laundering, and first-degree computer tampering Thursday, said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

According to prosecutors, Adeyemi stole the personally identifying information from bank employees, mainly those in the IT department. He used the stolen information to open more than 30 bank and brokerage accounts with several financial institutions, which served as dummy accounts for receiving money stolen from the bank accounts of charities and nonprofits, prosecutors said.

Using the charities' banking details, including account and routing numbers, Adeyemi set up wire transfers from the charities' accounts to his dummy accounts, according to court records. Many charities make their banking details readily available on the Internet to facilitate donations, officials said.

The identity-theft scheme took place over an eight-year period, prosecutors said. Adeyemi was indicted last October.

The nonprofits victimized in the case include Goodwill Industries, the Sudanese American Community Development Organization, the Jacksonville Humane Society, and the American Friends of Birdlife International.

In court last week, Adeyemi also admitted to stealing more than $128,000 from bank employees by compromising their online banking credentials and wiring money out to dummy accounts.

Adeyemi is scheduled to be sentenced on July 21.

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