After a prolonged investigation conducted by Special Agent Marshall Ward of the FBI Obinwanne was fingered and subsequently arrested for wire fraud valued at over $12m.
According to the investigation, “In June 2018, Unatrac Holding Limited, an export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment, headquartered in the United Kingdom, contacted the FBI. Unatrac reported that they had been a victim of an email compromise, which ultimately resulted in fraudulent wire transfers totalling nearly 12 million US Dollars. After reviewing the documentation provided by the representatives, the FBI opened an investigation in July 2018.”
The FBI discovered that after capturing the legitimate credentials of Unatrac’s Chief Financial Officer, the accused was able to log in and access the CFO’s entire Office365 account, which included all of his emails and various digital files, the logs indicated that between April 6 and April 20, 2018, the intruder accessed the CFO’s account 464 times, mostly from Internet Protocol (IP) addresses from Nigeria.
“With full access to the account, the intruder sent fraudulent wire transfer requests from the CFO’s email account to members of Unatrac’s internal financial team. The intruder also attached fake invoices to the emails to enhance the credibility of the requests,” the investigator stated.
The investigation, painstaking and far-reaching, lasted more than a year during which Obinwanne emerged as the principal culprit and has since been arrested while on his regular visit to the United States.