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Kenyan man in US: Yes, I defrauded two Universities of over Shs 75 Million

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A Kenyan national, Amil Hassan Raage, has pleaded guilty to fraudulently receiving almost $750,000 as part of a spear phishing scheme. (Spear-phishing is when an unwitting victim responds to a bogus email, which the victim believes is from a trusted sender, and reveals confidential information to the fraudsters.)

On July 23, 2018, the University of California San Diego (UCSD) received a spear phishing email from a fraudulent Dell email account instructing UCSD to redirect its payments meant for Dell equipment and services to Raage’s Wells Fargo bank account in Minnesota.  Believing that the email was from a legitimate Dell employee, UCSD followed the instructions and redirected payment.

The email actually originated from one of Raage’s co-conspirators in Kenya. From August 8 through September 12, 2018, UCSD sent Raage 28 payments totaling $749,158.37.  Each time UCSD wired money to Raage’s account, Raage would promptly withdraw the money or transfer it to another account.  When UCSD learned of the fraud, it halted payments.

UCSD was not alone. Raage and his co-conspirators perpetrated a similar scheme on another university, this one in Pennsylvania. Again, a co-conspirator in Kenya used a falsified Dell account to instruct the Pennsylvania university to redirect its Dell payments to a bank account in Minnesota again controlled by Raage. Over the month of January 2018, the Pennsylvania university wired six payments totaling $123,643.77 to Raage’s bank account before the university was alerted to the fraud and stopped payments.

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After the bank froze Raage’s accounts, he fled to Kenya on September 22, 2018. Working with Kenyan law enforcement, the FBI’s Legal Attaché in Kenya, and the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, Kenyan police arrested Raage on May 7, 2019, and extradited back to the United States on May 23, 2019, to face prosecution for his involvement in this theft.

“Modern criminals like Raage have ditched the ski mask and getaway vehicle and opted for a computer as their weapon of choice,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “As this defendant has learned, we are matching wits with new-age thieves and successfully tracking them down and putting an end to their high-tech deception.”

“As exemplified by this outstanding result, criminals who operate in cyberspace falsely believe themselves to be beyond the reach of law enforcement, but they are sorely mistaken,” said FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Scott Brunner. “Our agents will relentlessly pursue justice, aided by our foreign partners. Thank you to the Kenyan National Police and the Office of International Affairs for their invaluable assistance in bringing Mr. Raage before the bar of justice.”

This type of spear phishing activity has been on the rise, especially for universities, local governments and other entities with procurement paperwork available on-line.

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If you or your business or organization have been victimized by an email compromise scam, such as this one, it is important to act quickly. Contact your financial institution immediately and request that they contact the financial institution where the fraudulent transfer was sent. Next, call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI and also file a complaint—regardless of dollar loss—with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Raage’s sentencing is set for 8:30 a.m. on October 11, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.

DEFENDANT                                   Case Number18CR4858-GPC

Amil Hassan Raage                            Age: 48

SUMMARY OF CHARGE

Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 1349

Maximum Penalty: Twenty years in prison

AGENCIES

Federal Bureau of Investigation, San Diego Division

Kenya Police Service

Director of Public Prosecutions, Kenya

Legal Attaché, U.S. Embassy, Nairobi, Kenya

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs

Topic(s):
Financial Fraud

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Toney Tinilu

    August 4, 2019 at 1:46 am

    Give him life and no parole to send a clear message to like-minded thugs.

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SPONSORED: Mahiga Homes Directors embark on a meet-the people tour of USA [VIDEO]

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Mahiga homes Directors Mr. Patrick Muchoki and Mr. Joseph Ruhiu will embark on tour of meet the people in the USA on 12th to 13th October 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia where they will be attending the Anniversary of Kikuyu Diaspora Media owned by the Ceo Jeremy Damaris.

Mahiga Homes Ltd is a Real estate developer doing decent and affordable housing. We set out to deliver homes within 12 months, at an affordable rate, in a secure and serene environment. We are passionate about quality of product/ service and meeting of set deadlines. Our values are anchored on a strong foundation of ownership. Mahiga Homes is building the first modern real estate platform in Kenya by pairing the industry’s top talent with technology to make homes acquisition experience intelligent and seamless.

Thereafter they will head to Boston Acre Pub, Lowell 282 Fletch Street on 18th to 19th October where they will meet the esteemed clients there. At Boston it will be a goat eating event as they offer you affordable houses at flexible payment plan.
Here are the affordable houses that they are currently selling;

Mahiga homes Ltd affordable houses.

 

Rockvilla III Estate located just 300 meters off tarmac at Joska along kangundo road, Kangundo rd is under construction to upgrade to dual carriageway,Spa cious 3 bedroom bungalows master ensuite on plot size 40 by 80 kes 3.95m deposit kes 1.6m then pay the balance in 12 monthly instalments

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Brickstone Gardens located off Thika rd superhighway on Kenyatta rd just 300 meters off tarmac, Luxurious 3 br bungalows master ensuite,on plot size 40 by 80, offer price kes 4.25m

 

 

Osoit II Gardens Kitengela just 900 meters off Namanga rd, along Acacia road near Kitengela International School, Spacious 3 br bungalows master ensuite on plot size 50 by 100, offer price kes 4.85m, deposit kes 1.7m then pay the balance in 12 monthly instalments.

The RIVERFRONT, Spacious and Luxurious 3 bedroom bungalows, all bedrooms ensuite, on plot size 50 by 100, kitchen with pantry, located in Ruiru suburbs overlooking Tatu city kes 5.5m deposit kes 2m and pay the balance in 12 monthly instalments.

For more info
Call/WhatsApp +254720460413
www.mahigahomes.co.ke

 

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SPONSORED: ‘Mahiga Homes’ introduces Rockvilla Annex

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MAHIGA HOMES is a Real Estate development company doing decent and affordable housing. It has earned the reputation on delivering homes on time within a period of between 10-12 months (depending on the project), at an affordable rate. All the homes are in secure and serene environments, accessible from the Central Business District (CBD)  of Nairobi.

Hand-selected by local experts, these homes – curated by design, amenities, and neighbourhood – provide a visual snapshot of the most sought after properties around. Mahiga homes are affordable, luxurious and are of modern designs. The team is passionate about quality of product/ service and meeting of set deadlines.

And now….INTRODUCING ROCKVILLA ANNEX…
3 bedrooms master ensuite, sitting on 40 by 80 plots
#MAHIGAHOMESDELIVERS
#MAHIGAHOMES
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Call/whatsapp :+254705838117

What you see is what you get.

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Kenyans had Sh60 billion ‘hidden under mattress’

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After a four-month-long demonetisation exercise, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has invited detectives to examine 3,172 suspicious deposits.

The Kenya Revenue Authority can also stake a claim to Sh60 billion in new deposits flagged in the exercise.But the currency audit numbers tell only part of the narrative.

The full story will unfold as individuals found to have made suspicious deposits begin their appointments with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the taxman and other investigative agencies.

It is a story that is likely to expose the rot in the country’s financial system, which was expected for an exercise that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Government believed was necessary to restore order in the banking industry.

For the last four months to September, the CBK has been steadfast in its pursuit to unearth the dirty money, and it put out 15,000 advertisements.

Governor Patrick Njoroge yesterday said they had flagged 3,172 suspicious transactions whose value he did not reveal.In his last press briefing on demonetisation, Dr Njoroge said condemned notes valued at Sh7.4 billion had been rendered worthless after its holders failed to beat the September 30 deadline to exchange them with new notes.

Although some journalists felt that the Sh7.4 billion figure was smaller than expected, the CBK governor said the demonetisation process had successfully met its twin objectives of curtailing illicit financial transactions as well as the proliferation of fake currency.

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Curiously, the money that did not find its way back into the banking system was almost as much as the Sh7.7 billion that the country lost through the Goldenberg scandal in the 1990s.

Njoroge said the lost cash could be part of the dirty money its holders had been unable to redeem.He added that other investigative agencies – including the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Financial Reporting Centre – had crucial information pertinent to their mandate.

“There is good information that these agencies will continue to work on,” said Njoroge, adding that the fight against dirty cash did not end on September 30.The Government also drew the taxman’s attention to Sh60 billion that found its way into the formal banking system.He said with the end of the exercise, KRA could now deal with tax matters more easily after discovery of the new fortunes.

The governor noted that with so much cash finding its way into the banks, more transactions were going to be cashless.“The demonetisation process proceeded very well,” said Njoroge, noting that majority of the transactions were below Sh1 million.

This means that 99 per cent of the money that went into bank accounts was not subjected to the stringent anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) rules.Deposits or withdrawals of less than Sh1 million are not subjected to additional scrutiny.

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Reject deposits

But Njoroge insisted that at no point did banks fail to comply with the AML/CFT measures, saying some banks even rejected deposits.He, however, did not give the number of times banks did this or the value of money that was rejected.

The governor conceded that there had also been a lot of work done on the counterfeit front following increased incidences of fake money circulating.  He, however, acknowledged that a few transactions might have “slipped through filters” into the banking system.

When he announced the demonetisation process on May 1, Njoroge cited the need to combat illicit financial flows in the country and region, which had largely been perpetuated by the condemned notes.

During the demonetisation period, money flowed back into the financial system in billions of shillings, as Kenyans who had put their savings “under the mattress” opted to park their wealth in bank accounts.Njoroge said people did not exchange the old currency for new notes and take the money back to their hiding holes.

By October 1, there were 149.7 million pieces of the new Sh1,000 notes, against 209 million pieces that were deposited in bank accounts, leaving a difference of 60 million pieces.By June 1, when the demonetisation process began, there were 217 million pieces of the old Sh1,000 notes outside the banking system, representing 83.2 per cent of the total.

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Unveiled with fanfare in 1994, the Sh1,000 notes bowed out of circulation with a tarnished reputation.Njoroge noted that the old note was the “oil that kept the wheels of corruption, drug trafficking, tax evasion and other crimes rolling”.

By Standard.co.ke

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