Business Email Compromise Group Charged in Bust
Eighty people have been charged for their roles in a massive and complex fraud operation that attempted to steal $46 million in business email compromise (BEC) and romance scams, according to the US Department of Justice in a 252-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed on August 22. The October 18 indictment alleges 80 defendants, mostly Nigerian nationals, used BEC fraud, romance scams, and schemes targeting the elderly to defraud victims out of millions in a scheme that ran from 2014 through 2018. At least $6 million was taken in that time; the conspiracy targeted another $40 million. Some defendants, including 14 arrested Thursday and others in custody, are based in the US. Officials believe most are abroad, primarily in Nigeria.