News and Press Releases

Georgia man sentenced to 75 months in prison for role in $1.3 million phishing fraud scheme

December 11, 2012


Hackers Used Personal Financial Information to Steal from Bank
and Payroll Processing Accounts in New Jersey, Elsewhere

NEWARK, N.J. – A Georgia man was sentenced today to 75 months in prison for his role in an Internet fraud ring that stole more than $1.3 million after “phishing” confidential account information from Internet users, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Waya Nwaki 32, a/k/a “Shawn Conley,” a/k/a “usaprince12k,” of Atlanta, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini to Counts One, Nine, 14 and 20 of the Indictment against him: wire fraud conspiracy; wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; and conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to computers. Judge Martini imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The ring employed “phishing” attacks, which use fraudulent web pages that mimic the legitimate web pages of e-commerce companies such as banks and payroll processors. Unwitting customers of those companies visit the fake web pages and provide confidential personal and financial information – dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, mothers’ maiden names, and online account user names and passwords. These stolen identifiers are then used to make unauthorized withdrawals from victims’ accounts.

Nwaki also admitted he was asked as part of the scheme to impersonate company payroll officers in conversations with ADP, a national payroll processing company headquartered in New Jersey.

Chase Bank, Bank of America, ADP and Branch Bank & Trust Co. together lost approximately $1.3 million to the fraud ring.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Martini sentenced Nwaki to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $1,030,564 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence. He also thanked special agents of the FBI in Atlanta, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Lamkin, and the Alpharetta, Ga., Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Kelly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit, and Andrew Pak, of the Office’s General Crimes Unit in Newark.


Defense counsel: Dennis Cleary Esq., Newark

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