Massachusetts and Louisiana Men Charged in Business Email Compromise Scheme
BOSTON – A Medfield man and Louisiana man were charged today in federal court in Boston in connection with an international business email compromise scheme that defrauded companies of almost $900,000.
Paul M. Iwuanyanwu, 39, of Medfield, and Larry Brown Jr., 37, of Lafayette, La., were indicted for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Iwuanyanwu was also charged with one count of money laundering.
Iwuanyanwu and Brown allegedly worked with others to breach the email systems of companies and install unauthorized computer programs that diverted company emails to accounts controlled by Iwuanyanwu and Brown’s co-conspirators. As a result, all emails sent by or to the companies were first routed through the email accounts where co-conspirators could view the messages. Co-conspirators also had the ability to send and respond to emails as if they were representatives of the companies.
It is alleged that Iwuanyanwu, Brown, and others, used this unauthorized access to companies’ email accounts to cause the companies to redirect almost $900,000 in payments intended for legitimate business operations to bank accounts controlled by Iwuanyanwu and Brown.
The charge of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss. The charge of money laundering charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the value of the criminally derived property. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of the Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara Miron Bloom, of Lelling’s Securities & Financial Fraud Unit, and Carol Head, of Lelling’s Asset Recovery Unit, are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.