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Press Release

Previously extradited Nigerian national pleads guilty for his role in multimillion dollar business email compromise scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
The scheme targeted educational institutions and businesses in North Carolina and Texas

HOUSTON – A 45-year-old Nigerian national previously extradited from the United Kingdom has pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorneys Alamdar S. Hamdani and Dena J. King for the Southern District of Texas (SDTX) and Western District of North Carolina (WDNC), respectively.

Oludayo Kolawole John Adeagbo aka John Edwards and John Dayo arrived in the United States in August 2022 after he was extradited from the United Kingdom to face criminal charges brought against him by federal prosecutors in Charlotte and Houston. Adeagbo has now pleaded guilty for his criminal conduct in both cases following the transfer of the case in the U.S. District Court in the SDTX to the U.S. District Court in the WDNC.

A business email compromise scheme, also referred to as “cyber-enabled financial fraud,” is a sophisticated scam that often targets individuals, employees or businesses involved in financial transactions or that regularly perform wire transfer payments. Fraudsters are usually part of larger criminal networks operating in the United States and abroad.

There are many variations of BEC scams. Generally, the schemes involve perpetrators gaining unauthorized access to legitimate email accounts or creating email accounts that closely resemble those of individuals or employees associated with the targeted businesses or involved in business transactions with the victim businesses. The scammers then use the compromised or fake email accounts to send false wiring instructions to the targeted businesses or individuals, to dupe the victims into sending money to bank accounts controlled by perpetrators of the scheme. Generally, the money is quickly transferred to other accounts in the United States or overseas.

The BEC scheme in the SDTX

According to information contained in court documents, from November 2016 until July 2018, Adeagbo conspired with others to participate in multiple cyber-enabled business email compromises in an attempt to steal more than $3 million from victim entities in Texas, including local government entities, construction companies and a Houston-area college. As with the scheme in North Carolina, Adeagbo and his co-conspirators registered domain names that looked similar to legitimate companies. They then sent emails from those domains pretending to be employees at those companies to clients or customers of the companies they impersonated and deceived those customers into sending wire payments to bank accounts the co-conspirators controlled.

The BEC scheme in the WDNC

According to filed plea documents and court proceedings, from Aug. 30, 2016, to Jan. 12, 2017, Adeagbo, his co-conspirator - Donald Ikenna Echeazu, 42, a dual citizen of Nigeria and the United Kingdom extradited to the United States - and others defrauded a North Carolina university (the victim university) of more than $1.9 million via a BEC scheme.

Court records show that Adeagbo and his co-conspirators obtained information about significant construction projects occurring throughout the United States, including an ongoing multimillion dollar project at the victim university. To execute the scheme, Adeagbo, Echeazu and others registered a domain name similar to that of the legitimate construction company in charge of the university’s project and created an email address that closely resembled that of an employee of the construction company. Using the fake email address, the fraudsters deceived and directed the university to wire a payment of more than $1.9 million to a bank account controlled by an individual working under the direction of Adeagbo and his co-conspirators. Upon receiving the payment, Adeagbo and his co-conspirators laundered the stolen proceeds through a series of financial transactions designed to conceal the fraud.

Adeagbo remains in federal custody. At sentencing, he faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison on each count. According to the plea agreements, Adeagbo will be required to pay a money judgment to be determined by the court and restitution in the full amount of the victims’ losses, which is alleged to be at least $14,185,847.42. A sentencing date has not been set.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell in the WDNC sentenced Echeazu to 18 months in prison followed by a year of supervised release and ordered him to pay $655,408.87 in restitution for his role in the conspiracy.

U.S. Attorney King and U.S. Attorney Hamdani commended the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office for handling the North Carolina investigation and the FBI’s Houston Cyber Task Force for conducting the investigation in Texas with the assistance of the FBI’s Cyber and Criminal Investigative Divisions. They also thanked the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, the Metropolitan Police Service, the City of London Police, and the Crown Prosecution Service for their substantial assistance, and the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs for securing the arrest and extradition of Adeagbo and Echeazu.

Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Graham Billings of the WDNC in Charlotte is in charge of the prosecution. AUSA Rodolfo Ramirez of the SDTX handled the criminal proceedings in Houston, along with Trial Attorney Brian Mund of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS).

If you suspect you are a victim of a BEC scheme, you can file a complaint online with the FBI’s Internet Complaint Crime Complaint Cetner (IC3) at The IC3 staff reviews complaints to detect patterns or other indicators of significant criminal activity for potential criminal prosecution. The FBI provides a variety of resources relating to BEC scams through the IC3, which can be located at For more information on BEC scams, visit:


Updated April 8, 2024

Financial Fraud