by our reporter| Another Nigerian, Olalekan Jacob, better known as Woodbery arrested alongside Huspuppi by Dubai police authorities has been charged to court by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for defrauding US firms of millions.
In an affidavit filed on Woodbery’s case, the FBI said that part of the sum from the scams, which he pulled between January and September 2019, had been stashed away in a Bitcoin (BTC) wallet, a type of virtual currency not issued by any government, bank, or firm but is generated and controlled through computer software operating on a decentralized peer-to-peer network.
According to the FBI, Woodbery staged business email compromise (BEC) schemes targeting accounts through computer intrusion techniques to cause the unauthorized transfer of funds from victim companies.
Among these are schemes that caused a Chicago-based company to lose $2,300,000 while another firm was defrauded into transferring a total of $15,268,000, part of which was stashed away in BTC wallet.
The FBI said in an affidavit, “Preliminary blockchain analysis indicates that PONLE received at least 1,494.71506296 bitcoin related to these BEC schemes, valued at approximately $6,599,499.98.”
“These schemes resulted in attempted and actual losses to victim companies in the tens of millions. PONLE directed money mules in the US to open bank accounts in the names of victim companies.
“Proceeds from BEC schemes, ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars, were then wired by unwitting employees to the bank accounts opened by PONLE’s mules.
“PONLE then instructed the mules to convert the proceeds to Bitcoin and to send the proceeds of the BEC schemes to a bitcoin wallet that he owned and operated.”
Woodbery is expected to appear in court on July 9, for hearing on his detention.
Dubai Police authoritieson June 10, arrested Huspuppi and his gang over allagations of involvement in crimes spanning money laundering, hacking, impersonation, scamming, banking fraud, and identity theft.
They have since been extradited to the United States where they are currently being prosecuted.