US Court Jails Nigerian For $25 Million Email Scam
A Nigerian man has been sentenced to Forty One months in prison for taking part in an email scheme to defraud thousands of people of millions of dollars.
David Chukwuneke Adindu, 30, pleaded guilty to tricking people into sending $25 million to bank accounts he opened in China and Hong Kong in 2016.
Adindu defrauded his victims by impersonating executives or vendors of companies, prosecutors said, directing employees of those companies to make large wire transfers. Such scams are known as “business email compromise.”
Prosecutors said in Tuesday’s court submission that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has found that business email compromise scammers often use Chinese bank accounts.
Adindu was arrested at a Houston airport last year. Prosecutors said in an indictment that Adindu, who during the period in question resided in both Guangzhou, China, and Lagos, Nigeria, worked with others to carry out business email compromise scams from 2014 to 2016.
Prosecutors said the scammers’ targets included an unnamed New York investment firm, where an employee received an email claiming in June 2015 to be from an investment adviser at another firm asking for a $25,200 wire transfer.
The employee later learned the email was not actually sent by that adviser and as a result did not comply with a second wire transfer request for $75,100, according to the indictment.