A Nigerian man accused of stealing about $700,000 from the city of Fort Worth, Texas, through a phishing email scam, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Gbenga Fadipe, 50, had pleaded guilty to theft of property greater than $300,000, in 372nd District Court. In October 2017, the city’s accounts payable department received a change of account request.
The request, actually a scam email, used the name of two employees of Imperial Construction. One of the names was legitimate.
The person who wrote the email asked the department to change an electronic deposit from Plains Capital Bank to a Chase Bank account and included a copy of a check with the new account and routing numbers.
Imperial Construction later told authorities that the signature of the legitimate employee referred to in the email had been forged.
Fort Worth’s Account Payable department made the change of bank accounts with the belief that Imperial Construction had changed banks.
Fadipe had access to the new Chase Bank account and began to make a series of withdraws of thousands of dollars in cash from Houston bank machines.
Within two weeks of liquidating all the funds that totaled $693,625.77, Fadipe flew from the United States to London and Nigeria. He eventually returned to the United States and was arrested near Houston.