Houston Man Concocted Spoofing Scheme To Siphon Money From Unsuspecting U.S. Virgin Islanders To Nigeria
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A multinational criminal conspiracy used bogus email addresses to siphon money from unsuspecting businesses in the U.S. Virgin Islands and other jurisdictions into a Nigerian bank account, authorities said.
One of the individuals involved, Marvellous Eghaghe, was indicted by a grand jury on November 19 and charged with wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.
The indictment was unsealed after Eghaghe was arrested in Houston “in connection with international wire fraud and money laundering schemes,” U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert said today.
According to the indictment, Eghaghe created a Texas company and an associated bank account that he used to funnel money fraudulently obtained from victims in the United States Virgin Islands, Alabama, Texas and Colombia.
Part of the scheme involved “spoofing,” in which perpetrators intrude upon victims’ business email communications by setting up an email address similar to that of one of the legitimate participants, thereby diverting money transfers to unknown subjects inside and outside of the United States.
The indictment also alleges that in another instance, co-conspirators forged over $2 million in checks from the account of an unsuspecting business.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nathan Brooks.
An indictment is merely a formal charging document, and it is not evidence of guilt.
“Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”