Written by Jeff Stone
An accused money launderer allegedly used his job as an employee at Bank of America and TD Bank to help an email fraud scheme that scammed five companies over $ 1 million.
The US Department of Justice announced Thursday that a grand jury has issued an indictment against three men – Onyewuchi Ibeh, Jason Joyner and Mouaaz Elkhebri – charging them with money laundering and aggravated identity theft. The defendants allegedly implemented a professional email compromise system, in which thieves pose as a company or associate in an email, then ask a victim to wire up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to that time.
Elkhebri, a 30-year-old resident of Alexandria, Va., Used internal access at Bank of America (where he worked as a personal banker and relationship manager from 2015 to 2017), then at TD Bank (where he worked as a personal banker and relationship manager from 2015 to 2017). worked from 2017 to 2018) to open several accounts that he used to promote fraud, according to the Ministry of Justice. Prosecutors allege that Ibesh’s role in the scheme was to direct illicit wire transfers to specific accounts, while Joyner withdrew the money in cash.
The charges are another indication that for fraudsters Internet technologies are a means of enabling fraud. By masquerading as a trusted entity, BEC scammers frequently convince corporate accountants, HR staff, salespeople, and other unwitting employees to wire money across the world. The scheme in question brought in some $ 1.1 million to five US companies, a paltry sum $ 1.8 billion in BEC losses reported to the FBI in 2020.
Elkhebri opened a number of “conspirator” accounts as an employee of Bank of America, including one that Ibeh used, the complaint notes. During his time at TD Bank, Elkhebri is also said to have opened accounts in the name of the conspiracy, one of which an unindicted accomplice paid $ 1,000 in cash. Neither bank is charged with wrongdoing.
CyberScoop was unable to immediately locate a lawyer for the accused. TD Bank declined to comment. Bank of America did not immediately respond to an investigation into the matter.
Additionally, surveillance video provided by financial institutions appears to show conspiracy members withdrawing money from physical banks.
The Justice Department charges are the latest allegations against suspected BEC crooks. European police, for example, recently arrested 23 people in a similar email plot that aimed to capitalize on concerns over COVID-19. In July, a federal judge sentenced a Nigerian to seven years in prison for using bogus email requests to try to steal more than $ 2 million from victims.
A copy of the latest affidavit is available in full below.