A jury convicted a Nigerian man of an online scam that illegally accessed employee bank accounts of several colleges and universities, including Georgia Tech, federal prosecutors announced Monday.
Olayinka Olaniyi, 34, was part of a scheme that sent fraudulent emails that appeared to be from legitimate businesses to trick the recipients into providing personal information and passwords. He and Damilola S. Ibiwoye, 29, also from Nigeria, used the information to steal payroll deposits, and access to employee W2 forms, which they used to file fraudulent tax returns. The attempted theft was over $6 million, prosecutors said.
The men committed their crimes while living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and were extradited to the U.S. to face charges.
A jury convicted Olaniyi on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. He will be sentenced on Oct. 22.
“These defendants used trickery to lure and exploit their unsuspecting victims, but they will now face the consequences of their scheme in federal prison,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, said in a statement.
Cyber thieves conducted a similar scam of some Atlanta Public Schools employees in September.
Georgia Tech officials discovered the activity in November 2014 when unauthorized changes to the employee information when payroll was processed, according to a 2015 affidavit. Georgia Tech officials investigated and contacted the FBI. About $51,000 was transferred and not recovered, according to the affidavit.
Ibiwoye was sentenced in January to 39 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised released, and ordered to $51,175 in restitution to Georgia Tech.
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