Man Indicted After Phishing Email Duped Crowley ISD Out of $2 Million
A Florida man has been formally indicted for his role in a scheme to steal money from Crowley Independent School District (ISD) in Crowley, Texas, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
A federal grand jury indicted Donald Howard Conkright, 61, on two counts of wire fraud after a phishing email duped the district into sending nearly $2 million to his personal bank account.
According to the indictment, in October 2018, an email was sent to Crowley ISD’s Director of Accounting, falsely claiming to contain updated banking information for a construction company with which Crowley ISD did business. In reality, the information was for Mr. Conkright’s personal bank account.
Relying on the false information provided in the email, Crowley ISD sent two wire payments, totaling $1,995,715.52, to Mr. Conkright’s account. Mr. Conkright used those funds to purchase a luxury vehicle and wrist watches, execute wire transfers, and make cash withdrawals.
“Unfortunately, these sorts of spear-phishing email attacks have become all-too-common – and perpetrators are targeting not just individuals, but corporations and public institutions as well,” said Nealy Cox. “We cannot allow bad actors to divert precious school resources away from educating our children.”
“We urge constant vigilance on email, and pledge to continue to partner with the FBI to identify perpetrators and bring them to justice,” she added.
An indictment is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. Mr. Conkright is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Boudreau is prosecuting the case.