Carteret Residents Indicted In Identity Theft Conspiracy

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NEW BRUNSWICK—Three Carteret residents were indicted for allegedly participating in a scheme to steal thousands of dollars from bank accounts and federal income tax returns, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced today.

Babatune Ibironke, 25 and his wife, Eryn D. Brown, 21, and an accomplice, John E. Caldwell, Jr., 27, were indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury, which handed up three indictments that include counts of identity theft, theft by deception and conspiracy to commit those crimes.

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In the first indictment, the grand jury charged Ibironke, who was working at a bank in Edison, with creating two bogus bank accounts to steal $66,000 from a legitimate account. Caldwell was charged with conspiring with Ibironke to use a debit card to collect some of the money.

The indictment also accused Ibironke of money laundering and computer theft by accessing the accounts between Aug. 15, 2007, and Oct. 31, 2007, when he worked as a teller at a PNC Bank branch located at a Stop & Shop supermarket on Route 1 in Edison.

The indictment further charged Ibironke with witness tampering, contending he asked two witnesses not to identify him in a subsequent police investigation.

A second indictment charged Ibironke with attempted theft by deception, between Jan. 1, 2009, and April 14, 2009, after investigators determined he tried to collect federal income tax returns that were filed by eight other people. The payments were stopped and Ibironke did not receive any money.

The panel further charged that he acquired and provided information to his wife, enabling her to open at least five other fraudulent bank accounts. She also worked at the same PNC Bank as Ibironke.

The grand jury charged Ibironke and Brown with counts of conspiracy, attempted theft by deception and identity theft. In addition, Brown was charged with computer theft.

The third indictment charged that Ibironke tried to apply for a passport using Caldwell’s name in Roselle on March 18, 2008. Ibironke was charged with two counts of false swearing, two counts of falsifying records and two counts of presenting a fraudulent driver’s license.

Both he and Caldwell also were charged with identity theft, conspiring to commit identity theft and presenting false identification.

Ibironke is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in lieu of $1 million bail. Brown remains free after posting $100,000 bail. Caldwell has yet to be arrested, authorities said.

Kaplan credited cooperation between various law enforcement agencies that investigated the case. Sgt. Daniel Del Bagno and Investigator Robert Torrisi, both of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, were assisted by investigators from the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at the Kilmer branch in Edison, and the PNC Bank Security Department.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, Ibironke, Brown and Caldwell are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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