(STL.News) – Ojay Smith, 33, of St. Louis, Missouri, was sentenced to 48 months in prison for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. He appeared in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr. who also ordered Smith to pay $22,327.80 in restitution to the victims.
According to court documents, Smith obtained the personal bank checking account number of the two victims, who were both above the age of 70. Between March 13, 2018 and September 20, 2018, Smith used the victims’ account number to electronically transmit funds from the victims’ account to pay his own creditors and the creditors of others. In exchange for paying the debts of others, the debtors paid Smith a percentage of the bill that was to be paid. More than $22,000 in fraudulent transactions were made or attempted to be made, from the victims’ bank account.
The U.S. Secret Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Berry handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office as part of the Department of Justice Elder Justice Initiative.
The Department of Justice Elder Justice Initiative is dedicated to investigating and prosecuting financial crimes targeting older adults. The Eastern District of Missouri Identity Theft Task Force is a group of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working together to combat identity theft and its related crimes across the St. Louis Community.