January 5, 2018

Man in CT email scam convicted

A Nigerian national has been convicted of scamming $1.6 million from U.S. firms, including at least $500,000 from a Torrington company, federal authorities say.

Adeyemi Odufuye, 31, entered a guilty plea in New Haven federal court this week to fraud and identity-theft offenses tied to a business e-mail compromise scheme, the Connecticut U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Odufuye faces a maximum 20 years in federal prison on the wire-fraud count, and a mandatory term of at least two years on the aggravated identity-theft charge when he is sentenced on March 28, prosecutors said.

According to U.S. investigators, who say Connecticut's Cyber Task Force and United Kingdom investigators also collaborated in their probe, Odufuye, also known as "Micky Bricks", "Yemi" and "Jefe," targeted chief executives, chief financial officers and others at American businesses.

In late 2015, Odufuye and others sent dozens of emails to the controller of an unidentified Torrington company. In them, Odufuye posed as the Torrington company's CEO and instructed the controller to send multiple wire transfers exceeding a total of $1 million from the company's accounts to various individuals and purported entities. The company then sent five wire transfers totaling more than $500,000 to accounts in Virginia, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Hong Kong.

Odufuye and accomplices also targeted an unnamed Waterbury company as part of the scheme. Prosecutors did not say whether the Waterbury firm lost money to the scheme.

So far, the FBI has identified 36 wire confirmations in e-mail accounts Odufuye and others used from Sept. 2015 to May 2016, totaling more than $1.6 million, authorities said. This figure does not include the more than $500,000 in wire transfers from the Torrington company.

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