The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas issued the following news release:
Defendant Worked as a Mail Handler at Dallas Main Post Office
DALLAS- A former employee of the U.S. Postal Service, James Olabode Laniyan, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 60 months in federal prison, the statutory maximum, for his role in a mail theft conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Judge Solis also ordered that Laniyan, pay $302,620 in restitution for disbursement to Discover Card Services and Capital Bank One Bank. Laniyan, 51, of Grand Prairie, Texas, was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on July 28, 2010.
Laniyan pleaded guilty in February 2010 to one count of conspiracy to possess stolen mail matter and commit fraud and related activity in connection with access devices. In January 2010, Laniyan’s co-conspirator, Sulaimon Olasode, 36, of Houston, Texas, pleaded guilty to the same offense and was sentenced last month by Judge Solis to 48 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution jointly and severally with Laniyan. Olasode is in federal custody; following his sentence, will be referred to U.S. Immigration authorities for deportation to Nigeria.
According to documents filed in the case, Laniyan was employed as a mail handler with the U.S. Postal Service at the Dallas Main Post Office. Sometime prior to October 2008, Olasode approached Laniyan about stealing mail from the post office. After considering the money he could make, Laniyan agreed to participate in the conspiracy, which they ran until August 5, 2009.
“The American public trusts the Postal Service to deliver its mail intact. When a postal employee betrays that trust and steals mail, then uses stolen financial information to wreak havoc in the lives of our citizens, Special Agents of the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General investigate. Fortunately, these incidents are not common, and the overwhelming majority of the 600,000 postal employees are honest and hard working. With the prosecutive support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will aggressively pursue any employee committing a postal crime,” said Max Eamiguel, Executive Special Agent-in-Charge, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Service, Southwest Area Field Office.
Laniyan stole credit cards and credit card customer information by removing letters and parcels from the mail stream and then sent the contents of the stolen mail to Olasode in Houston for him to activate and use the stolen credit cards in the Houston area. In February 2009, members of Discover Financial Services Organized Crime Unit identified more than 40 credit cards mailed to customers in the Dallas area that were never received and later compromised. The vast majority of the compromised cards were being fraudulently used in the Houston, Katy, Sugarland and Richmond, Texas, areas.
Approximately 150 victims had their Capital One or Discover credit cards stolen in the scheme.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General and the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Wiley was in charge of the prosecution.