Nigerian Nationals Charged with Operating Business Compromise Scheme
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that two Nigerian nationals have been charged with various federal offenses stemming from a business e-mail compromise scheme.
OLUMUYIWA YAHTRIP ADEJUMO, also known as “Ade,” “Slimwaco,” “Waco,” “Waco Jamon,” “Hade” and “Hadey,” 32, was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on November 16, 2017, in Toledo, Ohio, where he was living as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. The complaint charges ADEJUMO with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud. ADEJUMO, who has been detained since his arrest, made his initial appearance in the District of Connecticut today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven.
ADEYEMI ODUFUYE, also known as “Micky,” “Micky Bricks,” “Yemi,” “GMB,” “Bawz,” and “Jefe,” 31, was arrested in the United Kingdom on December 19, 2016. ODUFUYE had been residing in Sheffield, England, where he was a student at Sheffield Hallam University. On December 20, 2016, a federal grand jury in New Haven returned a seven-count indictment charging ODUFUYE and another individual with one count of conspiracy, five counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. ODUFUYE was extradited from the U.K. to the U.S. and is detained while awaiting trial. The other individual in the indictment has not been apprehended, and his identity has not been publicly revealed.
As alleged in court documents, the FBI has been investigating a business compromise scheme in which ADEJUMO, ODUFUYE and others targeted CEOs, CFOs, controllers and others at U.S. businesses using sophisticated cyber techniques to defraud the businesses of millions of dollars. As part of this scheme, in late 2015, ADEJUMO, 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. Because of these fraudulent emails, the company sent five wire transfers totaling more than $500,000 to accounts in Virginia, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Hong Kong. The investigation has revealed that ADEJUMO and ODUFUYE controlled multiple e-mail and social media accounts used in the scheme.
It is further alleged that the co-conspirators sent e-mails and attachments containing malware to the intended recipients.
It is alleged 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 the alleged co-conspirators 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.
Each charge of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of at least two years.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.