United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced the unsealing of four indictments charging Akinola Taylor (Nigeria), Olayemi Adafin (United Kingdom), Olakunle Oyebanjo (Nigeria), and Kazeem Olanrewaju Runsewe (Nigeria) with wire fraud conspiracy, filing false claims with the U.S., theft of public money or property, and aggravated identity theft.
The four men were arrested in London, UK, and Malmo, Sweden, at the request of US law enforcement authorities, on suspicion of hacking into US networks to steal employee data for identity theft and the filing of fraudulent US tax returns.
“Taylor, Adafin, and Runsewe were each arrested on November 30, 2022, and Oyebanjo was arrested on December 1, 2022. Taylor, Adafin, and Oyebanjo were apprehended in London, United Kingdom, and Runswewe was apprehended in Malmo, Sweden. Each will face extradition proceedings. In conjunction with the arrests, foreign authorities conducted searches of the residences of Taylor and Runsewe,” according a press release by the US Department of Justice on Monday
The four men are accused of transnational wire fraud and identity theft for submitting false tax claims to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to steal money from the agency through tax refunds.
While Taylor and Runsewe gained unauthorized access to US businesses’ computer servers, they participated in stealing personally identifying information from those servers and using that information to file false and fraudulent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1040, United States Individual Income Tax Returns (“Form(s) 1040”) seeking income tax refunds with the IRS.
Adafin and Oyebanjo aided in the collection of fraud proceeds directed to prepaid debit cards in their possession or addresses or bank accounts they controlled or had access to, and they transferred a portion of the fraud proceeds to other conspirators.
If found guilty, the four men will be required to forfeit all assets related to the proceeds of the identified offenses and face a minimum of 20 years in prison.
The sources for this piece include an article in BleepingComputer.