Federal authorities arrest 74 people in wire transfer scam

Federal authorities arrest 74 people in wire transfer scam

Police arrested 74 suspects involved in an worldwide email scam bust.

The FBI announced 74 arrests across seven countries in a major email fraud bust on Monday.

The scam is known as Business Email Compromise, or BEC. Google and Facebook fell victim to a $100 million email scam thanks to an elaborate scheme from a suspect in Lithuania.

The US said arrests occurred in the US, Nigeria, Canada, Mauritius and Poland.

Law enforcement also seized almost $2.4 million as part of the operation, and recovered approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers by disrupting the BEC schemes, the DOJ said.

Multiple Houston agencies were involved in the operation, including the FBI Houston Cyber Task Force, the Houston Police Department, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

"This operation demonstrates the FBI's commitment to disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises that target American citizens and their businesses", FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

The Justice Department charged 23 people in Florida for laundering at least $10 million from email scams, targeting several companies and a law firm, according to court documents.

In one case, the USA alleged that two Nigerians living in Dallas posed as a property seller when requesting a $246,000 wire transfer from a real estate attorney.

In January 2018, Odufuye pleaded guilty to two charges, admitting that he conspired with two other people to send emails "from outside the United States addressed to executives and officers at businesses in the United States. made to appear to be sent from the legitimate email address of the CEO or other executive from the business".

Another three suspects in CT are charged with allegedly trying to steal $2.6 million through email scams. "These are malicious and morally repugnant crimes".

This type of scam has cost victims more than $3.7 billion, according to complaints logged with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the Justice Department said.

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