Nigerian National Sentenced to 45 Months in Federal Prison for Role in Business E-Mail Compromise Scheme
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ADEYEMI ODUFUYE, also known as “Micky,” “Micky Bricks,” “Yemi,” “GMB,” “Bawz,” and “Jefe,” 32, a citizen of Nigeria, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 45 months of imprisonment for his supervisory role in a business e-mail compromise scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Odufuye and others, including Olumuyiwa Yahtrip Adejumo, operated a business compromise scheme that targeted hundreds, if not thousands, of CEOs, CFOs, controllers and others at businesses, nonprofit organizations, and schools in Connecticut and across the United States. As part of the scheme, Odufuye and others sent e-mails addressed to executives that were made to appear to be sent from the legitimate e-mail address of the CEO or other executive from the business. The emails were sent with the intent of having the recipients send or wire money to bank accounts used by members of the conspiracy.
The investigation revealed that scheme participants controlled multiple e-mail and social media accounts used in the scheme and, in certain instances, sent e-mails and attachments containing malware to the intended recipients.
In late 2015, Odufuye and others sent or caused to be sent dozens of e-mails to the controller of a company in Torrington, Connecticut. In the e-mails, Odufuye posed at the real CEO of the victim company and instructed the controller to send multiple wire transfers exceeding a total of $1 million from the company’s accounts to various individuals and purported entities. The company then sent five wire transfers totaling more than $500,000 to accounts in Virginia, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Hong Kong.
The investigation revealed that Odufuye and others also targeted a company headquartered in Waterbury, Connecticut, as part of this scheme.
To date, the FBI has identified 36 wire confirmations in e-mail accounts utilized by Odufuye and others from September 2015 to May 2016, totaling more than $1.6 million. This figure does not include the more than $500,000 in wire transfers from the victim company in Connecticut.
Judge Hall ordered Odufuye to pay restitution in the amount of $921,497.87 to 15 victims of the scheme.
On January 3, 2018, Odufuye pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
On December 19, 2016, Odufuye was arrested in the United Kingdom where he was a student and was subsequently extradited to the U.S. to face these charges. He has been detained since his arrest.
Adejumo, also a citizen of Nigeria, was living in Toledo, Ohio, as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. at the time of his arrest on November 17, 2017. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and, on August 17, 2018, was sentenced to 15 months of imprisonment.
A third Nigerian citizen alleged to be involved in this scheme is awaiting trial.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut Cyber Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Huang.
U.S. Attorney Durham thanked the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, and the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police for their assistance in this case.
To contact the Connecticut Cyber Task Force, please call the FBI in New Haven at 203-777-6311.