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Nigerian National Pleads Guilty of Conspiracy in BEC Operation

The defendant targeted victims, along with co-conspirators, to trick them into wiring funds to drop accounts using spoofed emails.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

March 8, 2024

1 Min Read
A gavel on a desk in a courtroom
Source: Gregg Vignal via Alamy Stock Photo

Henry Onyedikachi Echefu, one of the three Nigerian men who were involved in an elaborate business email compromise (BEC) scheme, has pleaded guilty to his charges of conspiracy in a US court.

Echefu, alongside his conspirators, are residents of South Africa and were involved in the BEC operation from February 2016 to July 2017. He faces charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, and arrived in the United States to appear in court after being extradited from Canada.

As part of the BEC scheme, Echefu and two of his co-conspirators, Kosi Goodness Simon-Ebo and James Junior Aliyu, gained unauthorized access to email accounts "associated with individuals and businesses targeted by the conspirators" and sent fake instructions to wire money to bank accounts known as "drop accounts."

The men then distributed the illegally obtained funds into other accounts, either by initiating transfers of the money, using cashier's checks, writing checks to other individuals, or simply withdrawing cash, leading to the charge of conspiring to commit money laundering.

The loss of the illegal transactions was $199,929 and Echefu controlled roughly $22,000 of those funds.

Echefu will face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and, according to the plea deal, will pay back the sum of money he was in control of as well as restitution of the victim's losses amounting to $199,929.

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Dark Reading Staff

Dark Reading

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