Chesterton Tribune



Sentenced to year in federal prison in spoof email and compromise scheme

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A Dallas, Texas, woman has been sentenced to a year in federal prison after pleading guilty to a charge of wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana said.

Rita Alielnour was sentenced to 12 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“According to documents in the case, Alielnour participated in an email compromise and account takeover scheme that obtained over $335,000 during a two-day period in April 2017,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “As part of the scheme, Alielnour opened a bank account in the name of a non-existent business to receive fraudulent wire transfers. A victim in the Northern District of Indiana was tricked into wiring $282,000 for a down payment on a home into Alielnour’s bank account after members of the scheme spoofed the escrow officer’s email address and provided false wire instructions. A victim in Texas was tricked into wiring nearly $25,000 into Alielnour’s account believing it was payment of a business invoice. A second victim in Texas had his bank account compromised, and an unknown person wired money into Alielnour’s account.”

“Email compromise and account takeover schemes cost victims hundreds of millions of dollars every year,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch said. “Those schemes cannot be accomplished without people who open bank accounts and move the money. People engaged in such acts will be aggressively prosecuted.”

All funds were recovered and returned to the victims.

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.


Posted 4/30/2019




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