NEWARK, N.J. – A Union County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a scheme to bribe mail carriers to steal credit cards from the mail, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Olagoke Araromi, 22, of Union, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to a three-count information charging him with bribery of U.S. Postal Service mail carriers, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
Araromi and Moussa Dagno, 24, of Harrison, New Jersey, recruited at least a half dozen U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail carriers and employees to steal credit cards from the mail in exchange for cash bribes, typically $100 per stolen card. Once Araromi had taken possession of the stolen credit cards and activated them, he and Dagno would use the cards to purchase high-end electronics and clothing at various retail stores throughout New Jersey. In February, 2018 law enforcement seized six laptops and a smartphone from the Harrison residence shared by Araromi and Dagno at that time, all of which had been purchased with the stolen credit cards.
Several of the USPS employees who accepted bribes from Araromi and Dagno have already pleaded guilty to bribery charges, including: former mail carriers Zenobia Gilmer, Ayesha Troztz and Kyanne Costley, who had delivery routes in Mt. Arlington, East Orange and Elizabeth, New Jersey; and Jennel Williams, who formerly worked as a clerk in the Newark Main Post Office. All four admitted to stealing credit cards from the mail and delivering them to Araromi or Dagno in exchange for payments, and all are awaiting sentencing. A fifth mail carrier from Jersey City, Jacquan Miller, has been charged by complaint for his role in the scheme. On April 8, 2019, Dagno pleaded guilty to the same charges to which Araromi pleaded guilty today, and is awaiting sentencing.
The bribery charge to which Araromi pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison; the bank fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison which must be served consecutively to any sentence Araromi receives on the bribery and bank fraud charges. The bank fraud charge carries a maximum potential fine of $1 million; the maximum potential fine for each of the bribery and the aggravated identity theft charge is $250,000. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Sept. 9, 2019.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the USPS Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modaffferi, Northeast Area Field Office, and inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James Buthorn in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark J. McCarren and Jihee G. Suh of the U.S. Attorney’s Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations against Jacquan Miller are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense Counsel: Anthony J. Iacullo Esq. & Joshua Reinitz Esq., Nutley, New Jersey