Two former SUNY Buffalo State students pleaded guilty Friday in State Supreme Court to charges involving the production and use of forged credit and debit cards, an operation prosecutors say they ran at their off-campus house. A third roommate who also is charged in the case is serving a prison term for a recent assault conviction and was not in court.
Kelsey Dapaah, 25, of Buffalo and Nkemjika N. Ogbuagu, 24, of Yonkers each pleaded guilty to five counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument for having fraudulent Capital One, Visa Vanilla and Moneywise cards. They also pleaded guilty to one count of criminal possession of a forgery device – a credit card embossing machine. The items all were found in the house the three shared at 353 Byrd Ave.
The case was prosecuted by assistant district attorneys Paul E. Bonanno and Brian P. Dassero. The prosecutors say the fraud was uncovered after a yearlong investigation by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and State Police into a string of unauthorized charges on victims’ credit cards. After the operation was discovered, the codefendants admitted making dozens of forged cards using stolen identities.
Justice M. William Boller committed to a sentence of probation when the two men return to court in December.
Boller also presided earlier this year over the assault trial of their co-defendant, Mohamed Kaba, 23, of Yonkers, who is serving six years in state prison for attacking a fellow student on campus a year ago. Kaba slashed another man with a box cutter in a fight that was filmed by campus security cameras.
Kaba is scheduled for trial on Jan. 23.