A Los Angeles man alleged to have participated in a business email compromise scheme under a series of aliases was arrested yesterday and indicted on one federal count of money laundering conspiracy by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts.
Citing court documents, a Department of Justice press release states that the defendant Ochenetchouwe Adegor Ederaine Jr., 29, allegedly participated in a wire fraud scheme between March 2016 and November 2017 by laundering stolen funds through various transactions set up through 23 Los Angeles-area bank accounts opened under six false identities.
According to the DOJ, Ederaine’s alleged co-conspirators accessed the email account of a Massachusetts attorney involved in real-estate closings, and subsequently spoofed emails sent to a purchaser to look like they came from him. This “caused the purchaser in a real estate transaction to transfer $531,981… to the account of a woman who in turn sent $60,000 to an account in the name of ‘David Tecum,’ one of the fraudulent identities used by Ederaine,” the release states. “Shortly after receiving the funds in the ‘Tecum’ account, Ederaine withdrew approximately $9,000 in cash from the account.”
If convicted, Ederaine faces the possibility of as much as 20 years in prison, with three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the funds laundered in the conspiracy.