Three Nigerian citizens were recently extradited from the UK to the United States to face charges over alleged construction based scams that netted nearly $6 million. The defendants posed as five different contractors to commit wire fraud and related crimes in North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Prosecutors outlined a scheme in which the defendants procured information about large construction projects including names of project owners and the companies that were awarded contracts. They also obtained information on the dollar amounts involved.
They used that information to register fake website domain names similar to the actual contractors working on the projects. They would then email clients, directing them to wire payments for services rendered to a bank account they owned.
According to the Justice Dept., these are known as "business email compromise" schemes and it is one of the many types of scams that have targeted the construction industry in recent years.
Investigators have documented more than 240,000 incidents from June 2016 and December 2021 nationwide. Actual and attempted losses from these schemes have totaled more than $43 billion according to the FBI.
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