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Queens Man Stole $100K from LeFrak City Neighbors: DA

By Katie Honan | October 8, 2013 3:41pm

ELMHURST — A LeFrak City resident allegedly took more than $100,000 by stealing the identities of dozens of his neighbors and opening up bank and credit card accounts, authorities said.

He then used the loot to launder tenant checks, including rent checks he allegedly stole from a mailbox inside the apartment complex, the Queens district attorney said.

The suspect, Olawale Akinnawonu, 45, was awaiting arraignment in Queens County Supreme Court on a 134-count indictment that includes 44 counts of first-degree identity theft, 60 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and a slew of other charges, according to the DA's office.

“The defendant is accused of targeting his neighbors to steal not just their money but their personal identities as well," DA Richard Brown said.

The suspect allegedly took the money between November 2011 and May 2013, the DA's office said, adding that they think other LeFrak City residents may have been victims of the crime.

According to the DA's office, he used a stick to pull tenant checks from a secure mailbox at the complex.

Anyone who believes that he or she may have been a victim, or knows someone who may have been a victim of the defendant’s alleged scheme, is asked to contact the District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau at 718-286-6673.

Akinnawonu faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.