SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gabriel Adrien Lobe Diop, 35, a French national previously residing in Agoura Hills, California, pleaded guilty today to nine counts of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Diop orchestrated a scheme to illegally obtain millions of dollars of Unclaimed Property Division funds from the California State Controller’s Office. Diop did so by assuming the identities of victims for whom the Controller’s Office was holding significant amounts of unclaimed property, and then submitting fraudulent applications for that property. Diop concealed his involvement in the fraud using a combination of post office boxes, mail forwarding requests, counterfeit notary stamps, and falsified driver licenses issued by numerous states. Starting in January 2019, Diop attempted to steal at least $9 million from the Unclaimed Property Division.
Law enforcement agents executed search and arrest warrants at Diop’s residence in Agoura Hills in June 2021. Inside his residence, agents seized counterfeit stamps that Diop used to “notarize” his fraudulent applications for unclaimed property, twelve falsified driver licenses, bank cards and check books in his victims’ names, and at least six change-of-address packets issued by the United States Postal Service.
This case was the product of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service with assistance from the California State Controller’s Office, the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, and the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Sam Stefanki is prosecuting the case.
Diop remains in federal custody and is scheduled to be sentenced by Senior United States District Court Judge William B. Shubb on January 29, 2024. Diop faces a maximum statutory penalty of twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the nine counts of mail fraud to which he was accused guilty. Diop also faces a mandatory and consecutive statutory penalty of two years in prison on the aggravated identity theft count to which he was accused guilty. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.