If found guilty, a Nigerian living in the US, on a student visa, Amechi Colvis Amuegbunam, could end up behind bars for 30 years with a fine of up to $1 million.

The 28-year-old was arrested in August 2015 in connection with a sophisticated email phishing scam targeting businesses, and charged with scamming 17 North Texas companies out of more than $600,000 using the technique.

FBI alleged that from November 2013 through August 2015, Amuegbunam and other individuals, sent, and caused to be sent, fraudulent e-mails to companies in the Northern District of Texas and elsewhere, containing material misrepresentations that caused the companies to wire transfer funds as instructed on a pdf document that was attached to the e-mail.

According to the complaint, Amuegbunam is responsible for more than a $1.3 million attempted loss, and a $615,550(N122.6m) actual loss, to U.S. companies, including Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase.

The FBI issued an alert earlier last year about the new cyberattack it called the “Business Email Compromise.” The FBI said it is a “growing fraud that is more sophisticated than any similar scam the FBI has seen before.”
Federal officials say more than 7,000 U.S. businesses have been scammed out of a total of about $740 million.

“It’s a prime example of organized crime groups engaging in large-scale, computer-enabled fraud, and the losses are staggering,” said Maxwell Marker, an FBI agent who oversees an organized crime section.

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