Edison Township Defrauded $287K

Five people from Texas and California are being charged with conspiracy in connection with an email scam in which $287,236 was sent to a fake bank account that was thought to belong to a township vendor. The scam was reportedly carried out by email.

Bolaji Okunnu, 29, and Philip Ogbeide Jr., 33, both of Houston, Texas; Ayodegi Okunnu, 24, of Austin, Texas; and Victor Rubio Jr., 26, and Bougar Robert Linares Soto, 41, both of Los Angeles, were charged in a federal indictment in the Southern District of Texas with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

The arrest warrant from May 18 is still sealed. After being arrested on June 7, Okunnu and Ogbeide went to court for the first time in Texas.

Hamdani says that the main reason for the charges is a business email compromise plan. The five men supposedly pretended to be real companies and stole money from their victim’s bank accounts to put in accounts they controlled.

They are said to have gotten into business email accounts and used fake email names to trick people into thinking they were making payments to real businesses.

The charges in Texas say that they stole money that was supposed to go to a vendor who did electrical and mechanical work for a New Jersey county.

Even though the township isn’t named in the news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, it does say that the Edison Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office helped the FBI with their investigation.

Edison Township hasn’t said anything yet after being asked to.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that the charges claim that the conspirators got into the email account of one of the township vendor’s employees and then used that email account to ask for payment for services to be sent to a bank account that didn’t belong to the vendor.

Edison may have been tricked into sending $287,236 to a fake bank account that Rubio had set up instead of paying the seller.

Then, the conspirators reportedly “washed” the money to hide where it came from, who owned it, and who controlled it. They did this by quickly moving the money from Rubio’s account to other bank accounts they controlled and then taking cash out of the accounts to cover their tracks.

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Those who are charged in Texas could each get up to 20 years in jail and up to a $250,000 fine if they are found guilty.

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