The Guardian

Nigerian faces 20 years in prison for $7.5 million BEC fraud in US

A Nigerian national identified as Olusegun Samson Adejorin has been arrested in Ghana for his alleged involvement in a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam valued at $7.5 million.

The indictment against Adejorin was announced by U.S. Attorney Elek L. Barron of the District of Maryland and R. Joseph Rothrock, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Baltimore Field Office.

“Today, we charged Olusegun Samson Adejorin of Nigeria with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and unauthorized access to a protected computer in connection with a scheme to defraud two charities out of $7.5 million by impersonating their employees. “An eight-count federal grand jury indictment has been unsealed charging us with… and obtaining access to employee email accounts,” the statement said.

“Adejorin was arrested in Ghana on December 29, 2023 and is being held in custody pending his first appearance in Ghana.

“According to the eight-count indictment, from June to August 2020, Adejorin accessed Victim 1, a charity located in North Bethesda, Maryland, and Victim 2, a charity located in New York, New York. Executing a scheme to commit fraud by sending to an employee's email account or impersonating an employee to induce a financial transaction.

“The indictment alleges that Adejorin posed as an employee of Victim 2 and requested that Victim 2 withdraw funds from Victim 1, a charity that provided investment services to Victim 2. .

“Withdrawals in excess of $10,000 required the approval of at least one of multiple individuals authorized by Victim 1.”

According to the indictment, Adejorin fraudulently obtained the credentials of Victim 1 and Victim 2's employees and sent emails from their accounts pretending to be those employees, including emails containing investment funds. It also included emails making fraudulent requests for withdrawals.

It added that as part of the scheme, Adejorin also allegedly purchased a credential harvesting tool designed to steal email login credentials and register spoofed domain names.

The suspect also concealed fraudulent emails from legitimate employees by moving them to a discreet location within Employee 1's mailbox.

According to the indictment, as part of the scheme, Adejorin transferred more than $7.5 million of Victim 2's funds from Victim 1 to a bank account that was not Victim 2's bank account, pursuant to fraudulent withdrawal requests. .

If convicted, Adejorin could face up to 20 years in federal prison for each of the five counts of wire fraud, as determined by U.S. authorities.

He could also be sentenced to up to five years in federal prison for unauthorized access to a protected computer.

He also faces a mandatory two-year sentence in federal prison for each of the two counts of aggravated identity theft, to be served concurrently with other sentences.

For two of the wire fraud charges, the maximum penalty for knowingly and fraudulently registering and using a domain name could be increased by seven years.


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