FBI agent testifies against Nigerian in alleged $1.4m  cyber fraud

BRANDPOWER reports that the petition which was written by the FBI to EFCC was admitted into evidence as exhibit A to A8, following no objections from the defence counsel, Mr Lawal Pedro, SAN.


A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent, Mr Ayotunde Solademi, on Tuesday testified against Kolawole Erinle in an alleged 1.4  million dollars cybercrime before an Ikeja  Special Offences Court.

BRANDPOWER reports that Erinle is standing trial alongside his firm, Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Ltd on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, and obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of 1.4 million dollars.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The witness, a foreign service national investigator for FBI, Office of the Legal Attache in the US Consulate in Nigeria, narrated how the first defendant allegedly defrauded the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, (KCUMB), in the United States of the amount of money.

The first prosecution witness was led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr Temitope Banjo.

The witness told the court that the university became a victim of spoofing a form of cybercrime attack that targeted businesses using forged sender address.

He said KCUMB, underwent a major construction project with a construction company called J.E.Dunn in Kansas City sometimes in 2019 and the University made a wired transfer of approximately 1.41 million dollars to an account that they believed belonged to J. E. Dunn.

He said: “On March 27, 2019, J.E. Dunn contacted KCUMB asking about the payment for the pending invoices and KCUMB replied them that the payment has been made.

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“On the March 28, 2019, Dunn confirmed that they did not receive payment.

“It was later found out by both parties that somebody changed the wire transfer details for Dunn using a fake email domain jedunn.org whereas the real domain name for the construction company is jedunn.com.

“After this, the case was reported to the FBI and investigation carried out by the showed that the email account of  Dunn’s Chief Financial Officer was spoofed.

“Also, the wire transfer of 1.41 million dollars made by KCUMB entered into a Bank of America (BoA) account with an account number ending with 6843 on March 5, 2019.

“On that same day, somebody accessed that account and wired 850,000 dollars to a Diamond Bank account (now Access Bank) ending with 4471.

“The next day which was  March 6 2019, somebody still accessed the same Bank of America account and wired 560,000 dollars to same Diamond Bank account in Nigeria,”

The witness further told the court that  the investigation showed that the BoA account had an account name, Edada Autoparts and Machinary Spareparts Inc with address in Texas.

He said that the Nigerian end of the investigation traced the Diamond Bank account that the money was wired into,  to Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Ltd, which belonged to the first defendant.

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“It was also discovered that the name of the person who opened the Bank of America account is Edward Dada, who is still at large.

“Further investigation also revealed that the address that was listed in the account opening package of the Bank of America account, was a fake address, and there is nobody with the name Edward Dada as a resident in the United States.

“Further investigations in Nigeria also revealed that the owner of Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Ltd was the first defendant and it was discovered that the only transaction that took place in the Bank of America account was this particular transaction,” he said.

He added that after all the findings, the FBI transferred a petition to the EFCC for further investigation.

BRANDPOWER reports that the petition which was written by the FBI to EFCC was admitted into evidence as exhibit A to A8, following no objections from the defence counsel, Mr Lawal Pedro, SAN.

Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, the witness maintained that he was carried out part of the investigation.

Justice Ramon Oshodi adjourned the case until Friday for the continuation of trial.