December 13, 2018

Email scammer gets 45 months in prison

A Nigerian national who cheated U.S. firms, including two in Connecticut, out of $1.6 million in an email scam will spend nearly four years in federal prison, prosecutors say.

Adeyemi Odufuye, 32, who also goes by "Micky Bricks" and "Yemi", among other aliases, also was ordered when sentenced Wednesday in New Haven federal court to repay over $921,400 to 15 victims, the Connecticut U.S. Attorney's Office said.

A second Nigerian national, Olumuyiwa Yahtrip Adejumo, living in Toledo, Ohio, also was convicted of wire fraud in the e-mail scheme and was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in August. A third alleged accomplice awaits trial, prosecutors said.

As previously reported, Odufuye was convicted in January on charges that he, Adejumo and their co-conspirators 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.

To date, the FBI has identified 36 wire confirmations in e-mail accounts utilized by Odufuye and others from Sept. 2015 to May 2016, totaling more than $1.6 million. This figure does not include the more than $500,000 in wire transfers from the victim company in Connecticut.

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