A Nigerian citizen, 32-year-old Eric Iwu aka James, who was living in Buffalo, has been charged with scamming four businesses out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of New York.

The man is accused of running a “Business Email Compromise” scam, which targets companies that have vendors overseas. This type of scam involves spoofing official company emails with the goal of collecting monies from invoices. The funds are deposited into accounts controlled by the scammers.

Homeland Security Investigations were informed in 2018 that a power construction company in Dubai, the first victim, sent a wire transfer to a Wells Fargo Bank account belonging Zeeco, Inc. From there, two wire transfers totaling $300,000 were sent to a bank in Washington, DC, and Northwest Bank in Buffalo. From the money in the DC account, two wire transfers totaling $39,950.00 were sent to an account registered to Iwu at a Citizens Bank in West Seneca.

Victim 2 was a tooling and automation company in the United Kingdom. In 2019 the company reported a Business Email Compromise scam. It transferred $55,242.36 to the account of Gunes Dinamik LLC. When the company tied to recall the fraudulent wire transfer, it was informed that the fund had been depleted from the account, which was registered to Iwu.

In February 2020, the third victim, located in Singapore, sent a wire transfer of $131,636.39 to Jasa Cipta Rembaka LLC. The money was redirected to an account, trace to Iwu, at Citizens Bank.

The fourth victim, a winery in California, transferred $112,912.02 to the same Citizens Bank account, which was registered to Iwu.

He is facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

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