Nigerian detained in Ghana and given a prison term in the US for bank fraud


Blessing Adeleke, a citizen of Nigeria, has been given a prison term of almost three years by U.S. District Judge James Gwin.
The 31-year-old was found guilty of conspiring to get stolen financial information, making unauthorised purchases of gift cards and merchandise, and stealing money from Northern Ohio-based bank accounts among other places.Adeleke was detained in Ghana in March 2022, and a jury found her guilty on one count of conspiring to commit bank fraud as well as 16 other charges of bank fraud in October 2022.

Adeleke worked as an administrator for a website that sold compromised data, such as credit card numbers and personally identifiable information (PII), between January 2014 and October 2016.Adeleke divulged the details of stolen credit cards to co-defendant Kylie Ann Harlow and purchased items for themselves. Court documents show how Adeleke and Harlow shipped goods purchased with victims’ money and in some instances, returned the goods and gift cards to obtain cash.

Adeleke gained access to at least one bank account belonging to a victim in Pepper Pike, Ohio, from which she sent 16 fraudulent checks. Harlow was sentenced in June 2021 after pleading guilty to her role in the scheme investigated by the Cleveland FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Deckert and Daniel Riedl. The U.S. Department of Justice thanked the Ghanian Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General for aiding Adeleke’s extradition. The FBI Legal Attaché in Accra and the U.S. Marshals Service also provided significant support and assistance toward the convict’s repatriation.