Police say three men are in custody while two are still on the loose after they ran a counterfeit check ring. The men were allegedly involved in the theft of more than $6 million of business checks from a U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Philadelphia.
Officials say the stolen checks were often transacted after being altered, counterfeited or deposited through fake business accounts. The checks were allegedly transacted in Philadelphia by several unidentified co-conspirators. The suspects then allegedly opened checking accounts with the Wells Fargo bank on 34th and Chestnut Streets.
Amed Conde, 43, of Philadelphia, allegedly sent people into the bank with the stolen checks. Investigators say the stolen checks were altered and made payable to the suspects, who presented them using a false ID.
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Conde recruited Traore Boubacar, 36, of Philadelphia, an account rep with Wells Fargo, according to officials. Boubacar allegedly used his position at the bank to open accounts with the counterfeit checks. Investigators say Jeremy Gekonge, a 29-year-old teller at the bank from Montgomery County, overrode the accounts to allow them to be immediately withdrawn of the counterfeit monies.
Investigators say Saheed Adebayo, 58, of Brooklyn, New York and Adebisis Oladipupo, 35, of Chester County, were also charged during an earlier phase of the investigation. Officials also say that some of the checks that were stolen between March, 2010 and July, 2012 from the Philly distribution center were utilized in Internet fraud schemes.
The suspects allegedly targeted victims online by claiming they would assist them with financial problems. The suspects then sent the victims checks through the mail and gave them instructions to deposit them and open bank accounts, according to investigators.
Investigators say they were able to trace the checks deposited by the victims back to the ones that were stolen from the distribution center.
Adebayo and Oladipupo are awaiting trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas while Gekonge was taken into custody. Boubacar and Conde are still at large however. If you have any information on their whereabouts, contact the Attorney General's Organize Crime Section at 610-631-5946.
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(Pictured L to R) Traore Boubacar, Adebisis Oladipupo, Amed Conde, Saheed Adebayo