KPD: Gonzalez, Fabula collar habitual fraudster who had $179K in a shoebox, and who once allegedly took part in $1M theft ring

This is some of the actual cash the defendant allegedly possessed back in 2017 when he was caught up in another financial scheme. Courtesy of the Manhattan DA's office

A former Staten Island man who has been involved in a slew of financial frauds in New York City dating back to 2017 — perhaps even earlier — with one involving over $1 million in improprieties, seems to be back at it yet again and this time there’s a deep connection to Kearny.

The thing is, the Kearny Police Department was able to nab the guy for double parking and then on a warrant that turned out to yield crimes involving more than $100K in new fraudulently obtained cash, Det. Sgt. Michael Gontarczuk, the Kearny PD’s public-information officer said.

On Nov. 3, Sgt. Michael Gonzalez conducted a motor vehicle stop on a New York-plated BMW. The owner, Oluwarotimi Oredugba, 29, recently of Kearny, formerly of Staten Island, was wanted out of Bergen County and was arrested and later transferred to that agency for further processing.

However, further investigation revealed Oredugba had been previously involved in multiple fraud rings, check-cashing schemes and other similar illegal financial schemes, most on the other side of the Hudson River.

Town of Kearny cameras captured Oredugba conducting transactions at a local bank near the vehicle prior to the stop. The bank later reported Oredugba had deposited a check in excess of $100K into an account that was not his.

Det. John Fabula coordinated with other agencies who had an interest in Oredugba, who was known to authorities a habitual financial criminal. Grand jury subpoenas were issued. Furthermore, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police were conducting a parallel investigation, thanks to a victim in Indiana.

The scam commonplace here involves checks stolen in the mail or taken or subverted by other means, then they are altered and deposited into bank accounts, from which thieves such as Oredugba then withdraw the money in small increments, repeatedly at different banks, until the check finally bounces.

By then it is too late, as the thief has withdrawn a significant amount of cash. Such scammers can often make hundreds of thousands per year committing such crimes and many agencies do not have the manpower to investigate all of these frauds.

Det. Fabula conducted an in-depth investigation and ultimately a search warrant for the Kearny residence of Oredugba was granted.

On Dec. 4, at 5 a.m., the search warrant was executed at Oredugba’s residence, within an apartment complex in Kearny. When the entry team began to knock on the door and announce their presence, Oredugba refused to open the door and briefly spoke to them, before jumping off of his balcony wearing nothing but his underwear.

He reportedly landed in an area consisting of a tree, a bush and concrete with a curb.

Despite the impact, he immediately sprinted away.

Three officers then gave chase — Officers Ryan Wilson, Sgt. Ben Wuelfing and the aforementioned Sgt. Gontarczuk — and a few parking lots and fences later, the suspect was too tired to keep his speed up and was caught.

Of course he did so resisting arrest briefly, but was cooperative once forced into handcuffs.

The suspect sustained numerous injuries associated with the balcony-jumping, including lacerations from tree branches and possibly later from fence jumping and he injured his neck from the fall, police said.

He was immediately taken to hospital (an ambulance had already been preemptively staged for the search warrant). Additionally, one officer was injured during the foot pursuit, sustaining lacerations to both of his hands and another officer sustained blood exposure from the suspect while arresting and handling him.

Back at Oredugba’s residence, police said a trove of evidence was recovered, including receipts, digital devices, check blanks, credit/debit cards, cash-purchased gift cards, luxury goods from Chanel, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, etc., and over $170,000 in cash in a shoebox. (Forfeiture will be applied for).

So far, Oredugba has been charged with resisting arrest and obstructing the administration of law, for refusing to comply with legal orders. Det. Fabula is continuing the investigation and additional charges will follow, likely from multiple agencies.

 A simple Google search revealed a trove of previous crimes Oredugba has been alleged to have been involved in, including counterfeit checks, debit-card fraud and more.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.

Det. Sgt. Michal Gontarczuk | Kearny Police Department