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Press Release

Dallas, Texas Women Sentenced For Email Compromise Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Indiana

HAMMOND - Rita Alielnour, of Dallas, Texas, was sentenced, on April 29, 2019, by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen to 12 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.

U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, “Email compromise and account takeover schemes cost victims hundreds of millions of dollars every year.  Those schemes cannot be accomplished without people who open bank accounts and move the money.  People engaged in such acts will be aggressively prosecuted.”

According to documents in the case, Alielnour participated in an email compromise and account takeover scheme that obtained over $335,000 during a two-day period in April 2017.  As part of the scheme, Alielnour opened a bank account in the name of a non-existent business to receive fraudulent wire transfers.  A victim in the Northern District of Indiana was tricked into wiring $282,000 for a down payment on a home into Alielnour’s bank account after members of the scheme spoofed the escrow officer’s email address and provided false wire instructions.  A victim in Texas was tricked into wiring nearly $25,000 into Alielnour’s account believing it was payment of a business invoice.  A second victim in Texas had his bank account compromised, and an unknown person wired money into Alielnour’s account.   

All funds were recovered and returned to the victims.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alexandra McTague.


Updated April 30, 2019