Nigerian arrested in Ghana for alleged $7.5m charity scam

A Nigerian national, Olusegun Samson Adejorin, is facing federal charges in the United States for an alleged $7.5 million business email compromise scheme targeting two charitable organizations.

According to the Daily Graphic, Adejorin was arrested in Ghana on December 29, 2023, and awaits his initial court appearance in Ghana.

According to an unsealed eight-count indictment in Maryland, Adejorin operated between June and August 2020.

He allegedly gained access to employee email accounts at two charities, one in Maryland and the other in New York.

Posing as authorised personnel, Adejorin purportedly tricked the institutions into transferring over $7.5 million from the New York charity’s investment funds held by the Maryland organization.

The indictment outlines a sophisticated scheme, including the use of a credential harvesting tool to steal login information, the creation of fake domain names to conceal his tracks, and the manipulation of email accounts to hide his activity.

If convicted, Adejorin faces a maximum sentence of 20 years per count of wire fraud, an additional five years for unauthorised computer access, and mandatory two-year sentences for aggravated identity theft. The potential penalty could increase further for domain name misuse.

While an indictment is not a finding of guilt, the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated in a press release that the serious charges and detailed allegations depict a complex and audacious crime.

In collaboration with international partners in Ghana, the FBI played a crucial role in apprehending Adejorin and bringing him to justice.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, Baltimore Field Office, for its work in the investigation and expressed gratitude to the FBI Legal Attaché in Accra, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), the Office of Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, and the Ghana Immigration Service for their valuable assistance in the case.

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