September 14, 2018

Glastonbury ID ‘phisher’ gets 2 yrs.

A Nigerian national whose role in an online "phishing'' scheme fraudulently exposed personal and financial information about hundreds of school workers inside and outside Connecticut will spend more than 2 years in prison, prosecutors say.

Daniel Adekunle Ojo, 34, last residing in Durham, N.C., was sentenced to 32 months at his sentencing Thursday in New Haven federal court and ordered to repay the Internal Revenue Service nearly $37,000 for fraudulent refunds he collected from the scheme, the Connecticut U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Ojo pleaded guilty June 21 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Authorities say Ojo's conviction stems from an ongoing probe by special agents from the FBI's cybercrime squad in New Haven and the IRS into phishing episodes also involving the Groton Public Schools, and Minnesota's Bloomington Independent School District.

According to investigators and court files, Ojo controlled several online accounts used in Feb. 2017 to request W-2 information for about about 1,600 workers in the Glastonbury school system.

Subsequently, about 122 suspicious Form 1040s in the names of some of those Glastonbury victims were filed electronically with the IRS, claiming nearly $600,000 in tax refunds, authorities say. The IRS processed about six of the returns and deposited $36,926 into various bank accounts.

During the "phishing'' probe, investigators discovered that Ojo entered the U.S. on a visitor's visa in May 23, 2016, but failed to depart as scheduled on June 8, 2016.

That potentially opens the door to deportation proceedings, officials said.

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