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Hagerstown woman convicted of bankruptcy and wire fraud

May 11, 2010

BALTIMORE -- A Hagerstown woman who owned a health care company specializing in weight management was convicted by a federal jury Monday of fraudulently obtaining more than $1.1 million in loans for her home and of bankruptcy fraud, according to the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland.

Olusola Idowu, 57, was convicted on two counts of wire fraud and one count each of bankruptcy fraud, making false statements in a bankruptcy proceeding, filing a false tax return and failing to file a corporate tax return, according to the verdict announced by U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge C. Andre Martin of the Internal Revenue Service.

Idowu was owner and president of SSS Nutrition and Dietetic Care Services, which specialized in the "Optifast" weight management program, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. During the five-day trial, there was testimony that Idowu filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Maryland in November 2003, the release stated. In May 2004, she asked that the petition be dismissed, a request granted by the court, the release said.

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On June 17, 2004, Idowu received a $400,000 loan from Option One Mortgage to buy a house at 11047 Sani Lane in Hagerstown, falsely claiming her son was a nutritionist for SSS Nutrition, was paid $10,000 a month and had $100,000 in the bank, the release stated. The same day, she obtained two bridge loans from Hyattsville Properties LLC, for $85,000 and $50,000, the release said.

In September 2004, Idowu obtained a $14,000 loan from Hyattsville Properties, followed by a $50,000 loan from the company in August 2005, according to the release.

According to trial testimony, in June 2004, Idowu obtained an order vacating the May 2004 order dismissing her bankruptcy petition, according to the release. On Sept. 30, 2004, she falsely testified in bankruptcy court that she had filed corporate tax returns for 2001 to 2003, the statement said.

There was evidence presented at the trial that Idowu was able to obtain a $512,550 loan from Long Beach Mortgage for the refinancing of the Sani Lane property, the statement said. She falsely stated on the loan documents that her son was a nutritionist with her company, earned $11,120 per month and had $138,000 in the bank, the statement said.

In June 2006, Idowu filed her 2005 federal income tax return, in which she falsely claimed her son as a dependent and reported her total income as $19,000, the statement said.

Evidence showed that her income was substantially more than that, the statement said.

U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis scheduled Idowu's sentencing hearing for Aug. 9, according to the release.

Each of the wire fraud convictions carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, the release stated. The convictions for bankruptcy fraud, making a false statement in a bankruptcy proceeding and failure to file a corporate tax return each carry a maximum sentence of five years, while Idowu could face three years in prison on the false tax return conviction, according to the statement.

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