A Nigerian national extradited from Canada to the U.S. appeared in court Wednesday facing charges for his role in a scheme that defrauded vendors of office products valued at nearly $1 million by phishing email login information from government employees, federal officials said.
Olumide Ogunremi, a/k/a “Tony Williams,” was charged in an indictment on Sept. 28, 2018, with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was extradited to the District of New Jersey on Sept. 26, this year and appeared before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court, where he pleaded not guilty and was detained without bail.
From July 2013 through December 2013, Ogunremi and other conspirators perpetrated a computer hacking and theft scheme targeting United States government agencies’ email systems and Government Services Administration (GSA) vendors, according to court documents. The ring employed “phishing” attacks, which used fraudulent emails and websites that mimicked the legitimate emails and web pages of U.S. government agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Unwitting employees of those agencies visited the fake web pages and provided their email account usernames and passwords.
Ogunremi and his conspirators used these stolen credentials to access the employees’ email accounts in order to place fraudulent orders for office products, typically printer toner cartridges, from vendors who were authorized to do business with U.S. government agencies, court documents said.
Ogunremi and his conspirators directed the vendors to ship the fraudulent orders to individuals in New Jersey and elsewhere to be repackaged and ultimately shipped to other locations overseas, which were controlled by Ogunremi and his conspirators, court documents said. Once the orders were received in Nigeria, Ogunremi and his conspirators sold the toner cartridges to another individual on the black market for profit.
In a related case, on June 10, 2014, Abiodun Adejohn, a/k/a “James Williams,” 30, of Nigeria, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy, and was later sentenced to three years in prison.
The wire fraud conspiracy carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.