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HomeMetro NewsThree Nigerians accused of $6 mln fraud in US could get 20-year in...

Three Nigerians accused of $6 mln fraud in US could get 20-year in prison

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Three Nigerian men have been charged in the United States with $6 million in fraud connected to a business email compromise (BEC) scheme.

Kosi Goodness Simon-Ebo, 29, James Junior Aliyu, 28, and Henry Onyedikachi Echefu, 31, are the suspects. The suspects are thought to be in South Africa.

According to a statement issued by the US Department of Justice on Thursday, the defendants reportedly plotted with some Maryland residents to gain “unauthorised access to email accounts associated with individuals and businesses.”

“According to the seven-count indictment, from February 2016 until at least July 2017, the defendants conspired with others to perpetrate a BEC scheme,” the US Department of Justice stated.

“Specifically, the indictment alleges that the defendants and their co-conspirators, including co-conspirators residing in Maryland, gained unauthorised access to email accounts associated with individuals and businesses targeted by the conspirators.”

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“The co-conspirators allegedly then sent fraudulent wire instructions to the victims’ email accounts through “spoofed” emails, which are emails with falsified sender addresses, in order to trick the victims into sending money to bank accounts owned by the scheme’s perpetrators, known as “drop accounts.”

“The indictment also alleges that the defendants conspired to commit money laundering by disbursing the fraudulently obtained funds in the drop accounts to other accounts through account transfers, withdrawals of cash, cashier’s checks, and checks written to other individuals and entities, in order to conceal the true ownership and source of those assets.”

According to the statement, the first defendant, Simon Ebo, was extradited to the US from Canada on Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

The US stated, “For example, defendant Aliyu is alleged to have made a $350,000 wire transfer from one of the drop accounts in Maryland to an account he controlled in South Africa, knowing that the funds were the proceeds of a crime and that the transaction was designed to conceal the nature, source, and ownership of those funds.”

“In particular, Simon-Ebo is charged with three counts of wire fraud involving $6,343,533.10 in victim funds wired to accounts controlled by conspirators.”

If proven guilty, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison.

 (omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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