FBI Makes Arrests In Business E-Mail Compromise Scheme

Part of the scheme was operating out of western Pennsylvania.

Shelby Cassesse
June 11, 2018 - 4:29 pm
FBI busts Business Email Compromise Scheme.

PITTSBURGH, PA (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced Monday the arrest of Taiwo Musiliudeen Idris by law enforcement authorities in Nigeria. Idris was part of an international Business Email Compromise (BEC) scheme that partially operated out of western Pennsylvania. 

BEC, also known as "cyber-enabled fraud," often targets businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments and their employees who deal with finances. The schemes typically involve scammers impersonating a key employee within the company and emailing another employee using spoof emails asking to be wired money. The unknowing employee wires the money into a legititmate bank account owned by the criminals.

U.S. Attorney Brady said Idris' arrest was one of 74 made in the operation. Thirty-two arrests were made in Nigeria, Canada, Mauritius and Poland, with the remainder made in the United States.

"Deception is at the heart of every business e-mail compromise or CEO impersonation scheme," he said. "Attackers gain access to a corporate e-mail account and then spoof the owner's identity to defraud the company or its employees, customer or partners of money. We are committed to identifying and prosecuting anyone who uses the internet to financially exploit western Pennsylvania businesses and citizens."

According to the criminal complaint affidavit, Idris conspired with four others to launder $411,000 in real estate settlement proceeds.