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Tuesday, 05 April 2022 – Oscar Kipkirui, a Kenyan national living in the US, is facing 10 counts of wire fraud after defrauding the Government of Bernalillo County in the United States of America.

The suspect was arraigned in court on March 30 after defrauding the county of over Sh 51 Million for products and services delivered between October and December 2019.

If found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison for each count.

The court heard that the money was wired to Kipkirui after Bernalillo County received an email intended to appear to come from a legitimate vendor, CDW Government Inc., which had provided products and services to the county for which payment was due.

The spoofed email included a completed automated clearinghouse (ACH) form used by Bernalillo County to establish or change automated payments electronically to vendor bank accounts.

“The email also included an image of a voided check showing the same routing and account numbers listed on the ACH form. The email provided a telephone number that was represented as a contact number for CDW, but actually belonged to Mr. Ng’eno,” the US Department of Justice stated.

A total of US$447,372.89 was sent to the suspect.

He then distributed a portion of the funds to his co-conspirators.

The US Attorney for the District of New Mexico Fred J. Federici called on citizens to scrutinize email addresses and contact information more closely to avoid falling prey to the evolving strategies deployed by thieves and fraudsters.

“The responsibility for these crimes rests entirely with the perpetrators. However, we can each do our part by taking every precaution, such as scrutinizing email addresses and verifying contact information. We will do our part by prosecuting those who attempt to deceive our citizens and institutions,” he cautioned.

The Kenyan DAILY POST.

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