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US Secret Service Indicts Three Nigerians Over Alleged  $6m Scam | NEWS RANGERS

US Secret Service Indicts Three Nigerians Over Alleged  $6m Scam

FRAUS-THREE NIGERIANS

LAGOS APRIL 14TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Three Nigerian men have been indicted by the United States Secret Service over an alleged $6 million scam.

The US Justice Department said in a statement on Thursday that the three Nigerians identified as Kosi Goodness Simon-Ebo, age 29, James Junior Aliyu, aka “Old Soldier,” and “Ghost,” age 28 and Henry Onyedikachi Echefu, age 31, all residing in South Africa, were indicted with “conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering and for wire fraud and money laundering charges related to a business email compromise (“BEC”) scheme with losses of more than $6 million.”

The statement said that a federal grand jury had returned an indictment charging the trio on June 24, 2019, and unsealed on July 6, 2022, upon the defendants’ arrests outside the United States.

“The indictment was announced by Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; and Special Agent in Charge Matthew R. Stohler of the U.S. Secret Service – Washington Field Office,” the statement reads.

“According to the seven-count indictment, from February 2016 until at least July 2017, the defendants conspired with others to perpetrate a BEC scheme,” it said.

“Specifically, the indictment alleges that the defendants and their co-conspirators, including co-conspirators residing in Maryland, gained unauthorized access to email accounts associated with individuals and businesses targeted by the conspirators.

“The co-conspirators then allegedly sent false wiring instructions to the victims’ email accounts from “spoofed” emails, which are emails with forged sender addresses, to deceive the victims into sending money to bank accounts controlled by perpetrators of the scheme, called “drop accounts.”

“The indictment also alleges that the defendants conspired to commit money laundering by disbursing the fraudulently obtained funds in the drop accounts to other accounts by initiating account transfers, withdrawing cash, obtaining cashier’s checks and by writing checks to other individuals and entities, to hide the true ownership and the source of those assets.

“For example, defendant Aliyu is alleged to have made a $350,000 wire transfer from one of the drop accounts in Maryland to an account he controlled in South Africa, knowing that the funds were the proceeds of a crime and that the transaction was designed to conceal the nature, source and ownership of those funds.

“Finally, the defendants are charged with wire fraud, related to the BEC scheme. Specifically, Simon-Ebo is charged in three wire fraud counts involving $6,343,533.10 in victim funds being wired to accounts controlled by conspirators.

“If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for the wire fraud conspiracy, for the money laundering conspiracy, and for each count of wire fraud.”

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