In early 2018, a Nigerian fraudster responsible for the theft of millions of dollars from companies in the United States pleaded guilty to fraud and identity theft charges. The fraudster, a 31-year-old named Adeyemi Odufuye, admitted that he worked with others to trick unsuspecting employees to wire millions of dollars to bank accounts under Odufuye’s control. The Nigerian citizen pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, Odufuye started scamming U.S. companies in 2015. He used multiple email addresses and social media profiles to pose as the CEO of a victim company, FBI Special Agent in Charge Patricia M. Ferrick said. Odufuye also used various pseudonyms for himself outside of his fraudulent activities. As far as the FBI knows, Odufuye scammed for just over a year. During that time, he used the names “Yemi,” “GMB,” “Micky Bricks,” “Micky,” “Bawz,” and “Jefe.”
On December 19, 2016, authorities in the United Kingdom arrested Odufuye at Sheffield Hallam University. A grand jury indictment charged Odufuye and one unknown accomplice with seven charges in total. They faced a single count of conspiracy, five wire fraud charges, and one aggravated identity theft charge. The U.S. later won extradition of Odufuye and charged him in the state of Connecticut. According to the FBI, Odufuye and others targeted one company in Torrington, Connecticut, and one company in Waterbury, Connecticut.
U.S. authorities arrested a second accomplice on a separate grand jury indictment in 2017. The man, a 32-year-old named Olumuyiwa Yahtrip Adejumo had been living in Ohio at the time of his arrest. The indictment accused him of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. He made his first court appearance on December 20, 2017, in New Haven, Connecticut. The Odufuye indictment included charges against a third accomplice. Authorities have declined opportunities to reveal the suspected fraudster’s name. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, the suspect is still at large.
Odufuye, Adejumo, the third defendant, and others worked together to defraud the Connecticut companies, the FBI discovered. Investigators followed money trails from the companies to bank accounts owned by the fraudsters in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Florida, and Hong Kong. They found 36 wire transfer confirmations in Odufuye’s email inbox dated between September 2015 and May 2016. In total, the confirmations in his inbox added up to more than $2.1 million dollars in stolen funds. The Torrington company’s controller, unaware that he had spoken with Odufuye instead of the CEO, sent more than $500,000 in only five wire transfers.
The FBI are still investigating the case. Other suspects remain unidentified or free of charges and one suspect has either evaded the police since the indictment or worked with the police in an undercover capacity.
Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison. WIre fraud carries a 20 year maximum sentence. Chief Judge Hall announced that the scheduling hearing would take place on March 28, 2018.
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Author: C. Aliens