Medfield Man Sentenced for BEC and Romance Fraud Schemes

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

BOSTON – A Medfield man was sentenced today in connection with an international business email compromise (BEC) scheme that defrauded companies of almost $900,000 and a romance fraud scheme that defrauded victims of at least $7,000.

Paul M. Iwuanyanwu, 41, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 30 months in prison and two years of supervised release. On Oct. 27, 2021, Iwuanyanwu pleaded guilty to wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and unlawful monetary transactions. The government also seized over $800,000 in connection with the BEC scheme that the Court ordered forfeited

Iwuanyanwu participated in a BEC scheme that breached the email systems of companies and installed unauthorized computer programs that diverted company emails to accounts controlled by Iwuanyanwu and his co-conspirators. As a result, all emails sent by or to the companies were first routed through the conspiracy’s email accounts, where co-conspirators could view and respond to the messages as if they were representatives of the companies. Iwuanyanwu and others used this unauthorized access to cause the companies to redirect more than $850,000 in payments intended for legitimate business operations to bank accounts he and others controlled.

With respect to romance fraud, Iwuanyanwu participated in a scheme to use fraudulent online relationships to deceive victims and to persuade them to send money to Iwuanyanwu and others, or to receive money on Iwuanyanwu and other’s behalf. Victims wired at least $6,000 to accounts controlled by Iwuanyanwu and others and sent at least $1,000 via money orders to Iwuanyanwu.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of the Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin A. Saltzman of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit and Carol Head, Chief of Rollins’ Assert Recovery Unit prosecuted the case.