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FBI Agent testifies against Nigerian in alleged $1.4m cyber fraud

An Agent of the United States of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ayotunde Solademi, on Tuesday testified against Kolawole Erinle in an alleged $1.4 million cyber crime before an Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos State.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Erinle is standing trial alongside his firm, Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Limited.

They are being tried on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, and obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of $1.4 million.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

NAIJAONPOINT , a foreign service national investigator for the FBI, Office of the Legal Attache in the US Consulate in Nigeria, narrated how the first defendant allegedly defrauded the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in the United States of the amount of money.

The first prosecution witness was led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission counsel, Temitope Banjo.

NAIJAONPOINT told the court that the university became a victim of spoofing, a form of cybercrime attack that targeted businesses using forged sender address.

He said KCUMB underwent a major construction project with a construction company called J.E.Dunn in Kansas City sometimes in 2019 and the University made a wired transfer of approximately $1.41 million to an account that they believed belonged to J. E. Dunn.

Solademi said: “On March 27, 2019, J.E. Dunn contacted KCUMB asking about the payment for the pending invoices and KCUMB replied them that the payment has been made.

“On the March 28, 2019, Dunn confirmed that they did not receive payment.

“It was later found out by both parties that somebody changed the wire transfer details for Dunn using a fake email domain whereas the real domain name for the construction company is

“After this, the case was reported to the FBI and investigation carried out by the Service showed that the email account of  Dunn’s Chief Financial Officer was spoofed.

“Also, the wire transfer of $1.41 million made by KCUMB entered into a Bank of America account with account number ending with 6843 on March 5, 2019.

“On that same day, somebody accessed that account and wired $850,000 to a Diamond Bank account (now Access Bank) ending with 4471.

“The next day, which was March 6 2019, somebody still accessed the same Bank of America account and wired $560,000 to same Diamond Bank account in Nigeria.”

NAIJAONPOINT further told the court that the investigation showed that the BoA account had an account name: Edada Autoparts and Machinery Spareparts Inc with address in Texas, US.

Solademi said the Nigerian end of the investigation traced the Diamond Bank account that the money was wired into to Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Limited, which belonged to the first defendant.

He added: “It was also discovered that the name of the person who opened the Bank of America account is Edward Dada, who is still at large.

“Further investigation also revealed that the address that was listed in the account opening package of the Bank of America account was a fake address, and there is  nobody with the name Edward Dada as a resident in the United States.

“Further investigations in Nigeria also revealed that the owner of Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Limited was the first defendant and it was discovered that the only transaction that took place in the Bank of America account was this particular transaction.”

Solademi added that after all the findings, the FBI transferred a petition to the EFCC for further investigation.

NAN reports that the petition, which was written by the FBI to the EFCC, was admitted into evidence as exhibit A to A8, following no objections from the defence counsel, Lawal Pedro (SAN).

Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, NAIJAONPOINT maintained that he was one of those who carried out part of the investigation.

Justice Ramon Oshodi adjourned the case until Friday for continuation of trial.



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