CEDAR FALLS | A man connected to the University of Northern Iowa tax refund probe may soon be charged in two other states.
On Friday, Bernard Ogie Oretekor, 45, of Ellenwood, Ga., was charged with theft of government property and identity theft in connection with a tax refund scam in the Black Hawk County area in 2014.
Details of the charges weren’t available, but court records indicate that personal information from several UNI employees was found on computers linked to Oretekor during the investigation of an email takeover scheme that bilked California residents.
In addition to the Iowa charges filed on Friday and federal wire fraud and money laundering charges filed in California in 2014, Oretekor is expected to be charged in Michigan and Tennessee, according to court records. Those charges haven’t been filed.
Court records indicate that while authorities were investigating the 2014 data breach at UNI --- which led to someone applying for tax refunds in the names of more than 100 UNI employees --- employees at Oakland University in Michigan were discovering someone had also filed tax returns in their names. Investigators noted the similarities between the UNI case and the Oakland case in court records.
Details of the Oakland case weren’t available, but the university’s police department put out a release on the matter in February 2014 indicating the IRS was assisting with the investigation and the company that oversees the employee retirement accounts had been notified.
Oretekor, who is a Nigerian citizen, remained in custody in the Santa Clara County Jail in San Jose, Calif.