Nigerians are well-known for running scams of U.S. citizens, and are notoriously hard to catch. However, a Nigerian was caught in 2016 and sentenced Friday to eight years in federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly said Adewale Aniyeloye, 32 from Nigeria, was sentenced to 96 months for wire fraud by U.S. District Court Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr.
From February 2015 to September 2016, Aniyeloye and co-conspirators engaged in a form of fraud referred to as business e-mail compromise. Aniyeloye used compromised e-mail accounts to send spoofed e-mails to thousands of business employees across the United States who had accounting responsibilities.
Kelly said a spoofed e-mail is one in which the e-mail appears to be originating from a sender other than the person who is truly the sender.
Aniyeloye and his co-conspirators posed as chief executive officers or other business executives and would direct recipients of the spoofed e-mails to send money via wire transfers. Thinking the wire transfer requests were legitimate, the businesses would comply with the requests and wire money to a location designated in written instructions.
Kelly said the scheme was primarily conducted from Nigeria, where Aniyeloye was living.
In 2016, FBI investigators learned Aniyeloye was planning to travel to the U.S. and he was arrested upon arrival in Atlanta.
Pursuant to this scheme, businesses lost more than $6 million. The attempted losses are more than $30 million, Kelly said.
The two Nebraska victims of the fraud scheme lost approximately $163,230.
After Aniyeloye is released from prison, he will begin a 3-year term of supervised release. The restitution amount is yet to be determined and will be ordered at a later date, Kelly said.