Georgia man arraigned on international email phishing scam charges
Prosecutors: man and his Nigerian partner tricked companies out of millions of dollars
ATLANTA, Georgia (WDEF) – Georgia prosecutors have charged a man in a Nigerian internet fraud conspiracy.
Christian Akhatsegbe was arraigned in Atlanta, while his alleged partner, Emmanuel Aiye Akhatsegbe, is in Nigeria.
The Department of Justice says they carried out an elaborate, online fraud against companies in the U.S. and Europe.
The indictment says they first sent phishing emails to companies and organizations to steal the credentials of their employees.
For example, they would be directed to a webpage that looked like a Microsoft Office login page.
But the page actually captured their email account credentials.
Prosecutors say the scammers then used the stolen info to sent bogus emails to other employees at the company with fake invoices requesting payments into their bank accounts.
In one case, a United Kingdom company paid $434,383.45 to a bank in Hong Kong. The suspects held the account.
And a Massachusetts company paid out $996,000 to the Hong Kong account.
“The scope of the defendants’ alleged fraudulent conduct is extraordinary,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “The indictment in this case results from the tireless work of federal law enforcement and the valuable cooperation of corporate investigators and agency victims. These federal charges also serve as a reminder to those perpetrating cyber and fraud schemes, whether it be from Atlanta or any corner of the globe.”