United States authorities have arrested a Nigerian for computer fraud in a scheme worth about $800,000 (₦328 million).
US Department of Justice (DoJ) in a statement said the Nigerian named Charles Onus was arrested for charges in connection with a scheme to conduct cyber intrusions of multiple user accounts maintained by a company that provides human resources and payroll services to employers across the United States, in order to steal payroll deposits.
DoJ said Onus was arrested on April 14, 2021, in San Francisco and detained. Onus was presented on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court before Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said, “Charles Onus allegedly participated in a scheme that stole nearly $1 million by hacking into a payroll processing company’s system to access user accounts and divert payroll to prepaid debit cards he controlled.
“As alleged, Onus did this as effectively as someone who commits bank burglary, but with no need for a blowtorch or bolt-cutters. Thanks to the FBI and IRS-CI, Onus is in custody and facing serious federal charges.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said, “Cyber intrusions ripple through everything our society relies upon – this one impacted people’s paychecks.
“The FBI’s goal is to prevent cybercriminals from causing harm and holding them accountable, but we can’t do it alone. Companies need to continuously improve their cyber hygiene and awareness.
“Taking steps like training the workforce to protect and frequently change passwords, and to use different login credentials across platforms, can have an impact. Each one of us, from the individual citizen to the biggest corporation, plays a critical role in defending the nation from cyberattacks.”