Three young Nigerians are facing federal charges in the United States in connection with a $6 million fraud scam.
29-year-old Kosi Delight Simon Ebo, James Junior Aliyu, 28, and Henry Onyedikachi Echefu, 31, have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a business email compromise (BEC) scam that resulted in over $6 million in losses.
Simon-Ebo, the first of three defendants, was extradited from Canada to the United States and is expected to appear in District Court in Greenbelt on Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Amjel Quereshi.
According to the US Department of Justice, the defendants conspired with others to carry out a BEC scheme, as charged in the seven-count indictment.
The indictment specifically alleges that the defendants and their co-conspirators, including those located in Maryland, gained illegal access to email accounts associated with individuals and businesses targeted by the conspirators.
The co-conspirators then allegedly sent fraudulent wiring instructions to the victims’ email accounts via “spoofed” emails, which include counterfeit sender addresses, in order to trick the victims into moving money to bank accounts owned by the scheme’s perpetrators, known as “drop accounts.”
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and each count of wire fraud.