Medfield man sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison for online scams | #phishing | #scams

An online scammer who defrauded victims by both breaching company email systems to divert funds and also romantically manipulating women into helping him was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

Paul M. Iwuanyanwu, 41, of Medfield, pleaded guilty to federal charges of wire fraud, email fraud, conspiracy to commit both of those and unlawful monetary transactions on Oct. 27. On Thursday, District Court Judge Denise J. Casper sentenced him to 30 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Iwuanyanwu is convicted of a fraud known as a Business Email Compromise scheme. It’s a complicated and detailed scheme in which he and co-conspirator Larry Brown Jr., of Lafayette, La., netted around $900,000 in 2018.

At the time of the scheme, Iwuanyanwu was employed as a nurse’s aid at a Needham nursing home, according to court records.

Brown was sentenced to time served in prison, which was roughly 10 months, and three years of supervised release in May 2020 for his part in the scheme, according to the Department of Justice.

In the BEC scam, Iwuanyanwu and Brown set up bank accounts and made up email addresses — at least one of which was different from a legitimate business email account by one letter — that tricked employees of legitimate shipping companies into diverting funds intended for business operations into accounts they had set up.

In several cases, according to a court affidavit, the pair were able to divert legitimate email communications to where the real businesses never saw the correct bank accounts and fund wiring instructions.

Iwuanyanwu is also accused of romantically manipulating three women online — one from Brockton; one from Clyde, North Carolina; and one from Tacoma, Washington, all according to court records — into giving him a total of $3,500.

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