Skip to main content
Press Release

Foreign national sentenced to prison for million-dollar business email scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Nigerian national was sentenced today to four years in prison for stealing someone’s identity and fraudulently redirecting over a million dollars in business transaction payments.

According to court documents, in October 2020, after his co-conspirators gained access to email exchanges between Company 1 and Company 2, Abdulafeez Oluwatoyin Adebiyi, 34, learned that Company 1 had recently issued invoices to Company 2 for over a million dollars for work Company 1 had already performed for Company 2.

Operating outside the United States, Adebiyi created a phony email account for the president of Company 1 by using a domain name that differed from Company 1’s domain by a single letter. While impersonating the president, Adebiyi sent messages to Company 2 falsely claiming that Company 1 had recently changed bank accounts and provided account and routing numbers for a recently created account controlled by Adebiyi and his co-conspirators.

After Company 2 issued a wire transfer of over a million dollars to what they believed was an account for Company 1, the co-conspirators distributed the money through various transactions, including purchases of cryptocurrency and cashier’s checks and additional wire transfers.

The United Kingdom extradited Adebiyi in October 2023.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; David J. Scott, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office's Criminal and Cyber Division; and Jason J. Scalzo, Special Agent in Charge of the Electronic Crimes Unit for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Schlessinger prosecuted the case.

The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs worked with UK authorities to secure the extradition of Adebiyi.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:22-cr-21.

This release was edited on May 29, 2024, to correct the announcing official for FDIC-OIG.


Press Officer

Updated May 29, 2024

Consumer Protection
Financial Fraud