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Airport Credit Card Scam

Emmanuel Osho, 50, was sentenced Friday, Oct. 27 to 63 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $3.6 million in restitution to seven credit card companies and 56 credit unions.

Osho, of Centreville, pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. Osho, a citizen of Nigeria, faced a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Employed by United Airlines as a ramp services clerk at Dulles International Airport, Osho handled baggage and pallets of U.S. mail routed through the airport on United Airlines flights, according to court documents.

Starting in October 2003, Osho participated in a scheme where he stole bulk quantities of mail that contained credit cards to be delivered to more than 250 customers in Northern Virginia and on the East Coast, according to court documents.

Osho smuggled the stolen credit cards out of the airport and delivered them to co-conspirator Ademola Idowu, of Brooklyn, N.Y., according to statement of facts agreed to by Osho.

Idowu resold or distributed the stolen cards to "strikers" who made fraudulent purchases and cash advance withdrawals from banks and credit unions using the stolen cards. The credit card scheme resulted in losses between $2.5 - $7 million, according to the court documents.

Idowu, who paid Osho for the stolen cards, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to 63 months in June.

The charges against Osho were part of a five-year investigation by the Postal Inspection Service of mail theft and credit card losses linked to mailings routed through Dulles Airport, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty.

<1b>— Ken Moore