Las Vegas Sun

November 26, 2020

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Las Vegas man plotted to steal $400K in church funds, officials say

A Las Vegas man and unnamed co-conspirators impersonated church members to try to steal over $400,000 from their pension funds, the office of the U.S. attorney for the district of Nevada alleges.

Oluremi Akinleye, who appeared in federal court Tuesday, was charged through a grand jury on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud, one count of possession of 15 or more counterfeit and unauthorized access devices, and three counts of aggravated identity theft, officials said. 

Akinleye allegedly targeted the Pension Fund of the Christian Church and the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, officials said. The 40-year-old man was indicted on Aug. 25 and arrested on Friday. 

The FBI alleges that the perpetrators illegally acquired the personal information of members of the funds, which include ministers, from November 2017 to July 2018. 

Akinleye, according to the FBI, used that information to impersonate the victims, withdrawing and transferring money from their pension accounts. It wasn’t clear if they were able to successfully take the funds, which totaled more than $400,000, officials said.

The complaint, which outlines the allegations, was unsealed Tuesday but wasn't immediately available through federal court logs. 

If found guilty, Akinleye faces dozens of years in prison, officials said. A jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 2.