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US jury convicts 2 Nigerian cyber criminals for hacking American universities' websites, stealing over $6m

US jury convicts 2 Nigerian cyber criminals for hacking American universities' websites, stealing over $6m

- Two Nigerian cyber criminals, Olayinka Olaniyi and Damilola Solomon Ibiwoye, have been sentenced to prison in Georgia, USA

- Both fraudsters were found guilty of charges bordering on cyber fraud and impersonation

- The charges also involved the act of hacking the websites of universities and stealing more than $6 million

The department of justice in the northern district of Georgia in USA on Thursday, August 9, found a Nigerian, Olayinka Olaniyi, guilty of charges bordering on cyber fraud and impersonation.

In the same vein, the jury in the state sentenced another Nigerian, Damilola Solomon Ibiwoye, on Wednesday, January 31, who pleaded guilty to similar charges.

According to the court's ruling made public on Monday, August 13, Ibiwoye was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, reports.

READ ALSO: Teacher in court for allegedly defrauding students of N151,000 WASCE fees

Read the court's full judgement below:

"Olayinka Olaniyi, a citizen of Nigeria, was convicted by a federal jury on August 9, 2018, after a three-day trial, on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, computer fraud and aggravated identity theft. Co-defendant, Damilola Solomon Ibiwoye, pleaded guilty to similar charges and was sentenced on January 31, 2018.

“These defendants used trickery to lure and exploit their unsuspecting victims, but they will now face the consequences of their scheme in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.

“We are grateful for the collaborative work by our national and international law enforcement partners in this case, and we will continue to vigorously prosecute cyber criminals who hide behind the anonymity of the internet to commit these types of crimes.”

“The FBI is determined to arrest criminals who believe they can hide out on the internet, protected by geographic boundaries, and prey on the American people and our institutions,” said J. C. “Chris” Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Atlanta Division. This case clearly shows the benefits of global cooperation between the United States and international law enforcement.”

“We were proud to support our federal partners in bringing down this criminal enterprise,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. We will remain vigilant in investigating and prosecuting all who attempt to defraud honest, hard-working Georgians.

"According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: Olaniyi and Ibiwoye were behind several “phishing scams” that targeted colleges and universities in the United States, including the Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”) and the University of Virginia.

"While both are Nigerian citizens, they committed their crimes while living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and were extradited to the United States to face these charges.

"A “phishing scam” is the act of sending fraudulent emails that appear to come from legitimate enterprises for the purpose of tricking the recipients into providing personal information, including usernames and passwords. Olaniyi and Ibiwoye directed phishing emails to college and university employees.

"Once they had possession of employee logins and passwords, they were able to steal payroll deposits by changing the bank account into which the payroll was deposited. Also, while logged into the university system through the stolen logins and passwords, these defendants were able to gain access to employee W2 forms, which they used to file fraudulent tax returns. The attempted theft was over $6 million.

"The stolen funds were routed into U.S. bank accounts, and the evidence showed that access to these bank accounts was acquired through the use of romance scams, where fraudsters pose on dating sites and apps as potential partners to gain the trust of their victim.

"At some point, the fraudster will make a request to deposit money into their victim’s account and claim to need all of the account information, including their account number, routing number, passwords, and answers to security questions. In this case, all of that information was then used to funnel the proceeds of theft through those accounts and out of the country.

"Olayinka Olaniyi, 34, of Nigeria is scheduled to be sentenced on October 22, 2018, at 10:00 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones.

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"Damilola Solomon Ibiwoye, 29, of Nigeria was sentenced to three years, three months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release on January 31, 2018.

"This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Brown, Deputy Chief of the Complex Frauds Section, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura D. Pfister prosecuted the case."

Meanwhile, reported that out of the 30 suspected armed robbers arrested in three separate operations carried out by the Pokuase district police in Ghana, five of them are females while the other 25 are Nigerians with age range between 18 and 34. The police in the country confirmed this as reported by Graphic Online.

“Those arrested were between the ages of 18 and 34, and the police found suspected narcotics, a suspected stolen car, as well as items believed to be used for their robbery operations,” the report said, adding that one of the intelligence-led operations took place around 8:30am recently with the police besieging suspected criminal hideouts within their jurisdiction and apprehending the suspicious persons.

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