Multi-Million Dollar Business Email Compromise Scam Targeted Suppliers, Vendors

A Nigerian man has pleaded guilty to U.S. prosecutors for defrauding more than $25 million from companies that were convinced through business emails to send payments via large wire transfers to accounts in China.

According to the report in The Guardian and Reuters, District Judge Paul Crotty in Manhattan sentenced David Chukwuneke Adindu to three years and five months in prison for taking part in the business email compromise scam. Adindu had impersonated executives or vendors of companies, and directed employees of those companies to make large wire transfers. Prosecutors said he’d resided in Guangzhou, China and Lagos, Nigeria, while working with others to carry out the frauds from 2014 to 2016.

Among the fraudsters’ targets was an unnamed New York investment firm, where in June 2015 an employee received an email claiming to be from an investment adviser at another firm asking for a $25,200 wire transfer. The employee later discovered the email was phony and didn’t send a second requested transfer request for $75,100, The Guardian said.

Other scams were carried out by exchanging information regarding bank and email accounts, and scripts for requesting wire transfers, reported SC Cybercrime. According to the International Business Times, Adindu sent phishing emails to companies, including in the U.S., by impersonating supervisors or third-party vendors linked to the company.

– Nicholas Stern, managing editor

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