Nigerian Man Arrested in Dallas for Elaborate Email Fraud Scheme

A Nigerian man has been arrested in Dallas, accused of defrauding 17 Texas companies out of more than $600,000 in an elaborate business compromise email (BCE) scheme, according to a news report.

Amechi Colvis Amuegbunam, 28, is accused of creating false documents and fake Internet domains and using them to convince companies to wire money to offshore bank accounts. In one instance, he allegedly created an email address that imitated the email address of the Luminant energy utility company CEO. He then sent a fake request to a Luminant employee, instructing him to wire $98,550 to an out-of-state account.

According to the FBI, BCEs are becoming more sophisticated and American businesses have lost more than $350 billion to fraudsters.

“They have excellent tradecraft and they do their homework,” said FBI special agent Maxwell Marker. “They use language specific to the company they are targeting, along with dollar amounts that lend legitimacy to the fraud. The days of these emails having horrible grammar and being easily identified are largely behind us.”

Amuegbunam is in the U.S. on a student visa, and has been identified as one of 17 people involved in the email fraud scheme. The FBI was able to ascertain his identity using the metadata on a PDF that was included in the Luminant email.

The other people involved in the scheme are likely in Nigeria and have not been named or charged, according to the FBI. In addition, at least one other BCE attempt has come from Romania.

If convicted, Amuegbunam faces up to 30 years in prison.

The Cogdell Law Firm is a full service criminal litigation and appellate law firm. We provide client-focused representation at all stages of the process, whether our clients are seeking to avoid charges, have been charged, or are seeking reversal of a conviction on appeal. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or dan@cogdell-law.com.

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