Isaiah Olugosi Wiki
Isaiah Olugosi Biography
Who was Isaiah Olugosi ?
The ringleader of a modern day ‘Fagin Gang’ who trafficked vulnerable teenagers across the UK in a £500,000 shop fraud scam has been found dead in jail.
Isaiah Olugosi, 38, was discovered in his cell at HMP Wormwood Scrubs in west London, where he was awaiting sentencing after being sentenced.
He pleaded guilty in May of last year to masterminding a scam that defrauded more than 100 stores across the country in a two-year reign of theft.
In an unusual move, Olugosi, his wife Holly and members of their organized crime group were charged under modern slavery laws.
More than 30 teenage victims exploited by the gang were discovered by police when they shut down the criminal operation.
A Prison Service spokesman said: ‘HMP Wormwood Scrubs prisoner Isaiah Olugosi died in his cell on 28 March.
The Prison and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.
Prison staff found Olugosi when they opened his cell in D-wing at 8:45 a.m.
He was pronounced dead at 9 a.m. and there were no suspicious circumstances.
In Snaresbrook Crown Court, Olugosi admitted conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travel of children for the purpose of exploitation, two counts of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and possession of articles for fraud.
Holly Olugosi also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering at the same North East London court.
The court was told the massive fraud allowed the couple, from Ely, Cambridgeshire, to enjoy a high-society lifestyle.
Holly Olugosi spent huge sums of swindled money on cosmetic surgery, tanning sessions, a new Mercedes, luxury holidays and even a £2,500 fridge.
Victims between the ages of 14 and 17 were discovered by police when they discovered the extent of the fraud in 2020.
The girls were recruited through social media and approached on the street, some living in foster care while others had been reported missing, police said.
Isiah Olugosi, 38, orchestrated the large-scale fraud enterprise from his home in Ely, Cambridgeshire, where he lived with his wife.
They printed and put fake barcodes on the items to pay a cheaper price before returning for a full price refund, meaning a phone bought for £20 could get a £120 refund.
The shop scams are believed to have started around 2018, but bank details showed funds from the crime entered Olugosi’s accounts as early as 2013, the Metropolitan Police said.
The crooked operation was too large for one person to control alone, and Olugosi quickly began building a network of trusted associates, including “team leaders” and “drivers” who participated in scams across the country.
Eva Dambrauskaite, 21, and Baran Karamagara, 22, became team leaders recruiting and managing vulnerable girls to carry out robberies and fraud for the organized crime gang.
Many of the victims were picked up while living in foster homes or support facilities and some had been reported missing by their families.
‘Without the bravery of all of the victims and witnesses in this case, the enterprise would never have been unearthed and I wish to thank them all for their trust.
‘The Metropolitan Police Service has officers dedicated to confront those targeting vulnerable people and continue to work closely with partners to tackle Modern Slavery and exploitation.’
Marie Olo, of the CPS said after the latest hearing that the young victims were picked out by the gang because of their troubled backgrounds.
She added: ‘Isaiah Olugosi recruited, coached and transported teenage girls around the country to commit refund fraud in high street stores.
The girls were tricked or coerced by the team’s leaders into joining their criminal gang, before Olugosi and her drivers transported them across the UK using pre-planned routes to target each store’s branch.
The girls used to be missing for several days, committing fraud during the day and staying in hotels at night.
In the first part of the conspiracy, Isaiah Olugosi personally led the victims, telling them what assets to obtain, what fraud technique to use, and which branches to attack.
A typical day included robberies and fraud at more than 10 stores, generating thousands of pounds per route for the gang.
The stolen funds were then laundered through at least a hundred UK and Isaiah Olugosi, Karamagara and Dambrausakite bank accounts that were controlled by the criminals, in many cases in the names of vulnerable children or adults with mental health conditions.
To evade authorities, mobile phones and vehicles were searched at the addresses of adults known to have mental health problems or severe learning difficulties.
By March 2020, the group made around £500,000 in profit as a result of their large-scale fraud scheme, Scotland Yard said.
Police began investigating the gang after receiving information from children’s services and when retailers reported some of the scams.
Store fraud investigators noticed a pattern of youth receiving refunds with false receipts.
In March 2020, police raided a number of houses in London, Essex and Cambridge, seizing printers, computer equipment, fake receipts, barcodes, cash and devices used to communicate with the girls.
After searching Holly Olugosi’s home, officers discovered that she tried to hide various pieces of evidence before returning to her home where officers were still searching.
Karamagara and Dambrauskaite were arrested at addresses in Essex and Tottenham, north of London, on March 16, 2020.
Isaiah Olugosi was arrested at an Ilford address the following day and Holly Olugosi, 31, was interviewed under caution at a Cambridgeshire police station.
When police later charged Isaiah Olugosi at her home, he fled from police and was on the run for six days before being caught in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
While he was on the run, he had already created a new life for himself, living in a rented room under a false name in an attempt to evade the police.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided that the gang could be charged under the Modern Slavery Act. This is believed to be the first time the act has been used in a fraud case in UK law.
After a three-week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Dambrauskaite, of Buckhurst Hill, Essex, was found guilty of conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the journey of children for the purpose of exploitation, two counts of conspiracy to defraud, laundering of money, possession of articles for use in fraud and possession of cannabis.
Baran Karamagara, from Tottenham, north London, admitted conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travel of children for the purpose of exploitation and two counts of conspiracy to defraud in December.
All four were due to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court for sentencing on a date yet to be set.
Sergeant PJ Jones, case officer for the Met’s Predatory Offenders Unit, said after the final trial: “This is a serious case involving the criminal exploitation of a large number of underage girls over many years.”
‘Olugosi and others were too cowardly to carry out their own crimes and actively recruited girls with obvious vulnerabilities.
‘They were embedded through peer groups of vulnerable people who used them to commit fraud and use their accounts to launder money.
“This was a protracted investigation involving countless inquiries, witness statements and premises searches to obtain evidence of crimes as widespread as Glasgow and Devon.
“Throughout the process, all of the suspects in this case went to great lengths to conceal evidence, minimize their own involvement, and delay justice.
“I am grateful to staff at both retailers for highlighting this case as a protection concern early on, raising concerns about the ages of the girls involved.
Isaiah Olugosi Quick and Facts
- Isaiah Olugosi, 38, was discovered dead in HMP Wormwood Scrubs yesterday
- He had pleaded guilty in May and was convicted for trafficking dozens of girls
- Over 30 teenage victims were discovered by police when they raided the operation at home in Ely, Cambridgeshire, where he lived with his wife