Nigerian Convicted For Phishing US Universities Of $6M To Know His Fate On Oct 22
A jury in Atlanta has convicted a Nigerian man on federal charges related to hacking universities in the United States.
According to a press release issued on Monday, August, 13, the prosecutors told the court that the 34-year-old Olayinka Olaniyi and his accomplice, 29-year-old Damilola Solomon Ibiwoye ran several phishing scams targeting employees at US colleges and universities, including Georgia Tech and the University of Virginia.
US’ Ledger Enquirer quoted the prosecutors as saying that they obtained employee logins and passwords and used them to steal payroll deposits and to file fraudulent tax returns.
All in all, their attempted theft totaled over $6 million.
It was gathered that Olaniyi was convicted last week of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, computer fraud and aggravated identity theft. He is to be sentenced October 22.
Ibiwoye, who’s also from Nigeria, pleaded guilty to similar charges. He was sentenced to serve three years and three months in prison.
Sharing information on their arrest and subsequent convictions, a release by the Department of Justice, US. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia, dated Monday, August 13, 2018, quoted US Attorney Byung J. ‘BJay’ Pak, as saying:
“These defendants used trickery to lure and exploit their unsuspecting victims, but they will now face the consequences of their scheme in federal prison.”
According to Pak, the duo were behind “phishing scams” that targeted institutions in the US, including the Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”) and the University of Virginia.
The statement read: “A ‘phishing scam’ is the act of sending fraudulent emails that appear to come from legitimate enterprises for the purpose of tricking the recipients into providing personal information, including usernames and passwords.
“Olaniyi and Ibiwoye directed phishing emails to college and university employees. Once they had possession of employee logins and passwords, they were able to steal payroll deposits by changing the bank account into which the payroll was deposited. Also, while logged into the university system through the stolen logins and passwords, these defendants were able to gain access to employee W2 forms, which they used to file fraudulent tax returns. The attempted theft was over $6 million.
“The stolen funds were routed into U.S. bank accounts, and the evidence showed that access to these bank accounts was acquired through the use of romance scams, where fraudsters pose on dating sites and apps as potential partners to gain the trust of their victim. At some point, the fraudster will make a request to deposit money into their victim’s account and claim to need all of the account information, including their account number, routing number, passwords, and answers to security questions. In this case, all of that information was then used to funnel the proceeds of theft through those accounts and out of the country.”