A Nigerian, Olumide Ogunremi, has been arraigned in a US federal court for alleged involvement in a computer hacking and identity theft scheme that ordered about $1 million in office products.
Federal officials told the court on Thursday that the order was made after the gang stole personal information from US government workers.
Mr Ogunremi, a resident of Newark, pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Ogunremi, alias Tony Williams, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of a single count of wire fraud, the US Attorney’s Office for New Jersey said in a statement.
According to nj.com, Ogunremi and others tricked employees of the US Department of Environmental Protection and the US Department of Commerce into divulging their usernames and passwords by creating fake websites and sending phony emails that mimic legitimate government sites and email addresses.
They then used the stolen credentials to place fraudulent orders for office products – mainly printer toner cartridges – from vendors authorized to do business with government agencies.
Ogunremi and his partners had their orders delivered to associates in New Jersey where the goods would be repackaged and shipped to Nigeria to be re-sold on the black market.
Authorities said the scam operated for about six months in 2013.
Ogunremi, who fled to Canada, was extradited to the US on September 26 and charged two days later. He is being held in New Jersey without bail.
One of Ogunremi’s co-conspirators, Abiodun Adejohn, previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy. He was sentenced to three years in prison in May 2015