RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A UK man who stole $470,000 from Virginia Commonwealth University in an email scam pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud after he tricked university officials into wiring him money by impersonating a construction contractor.
Olabanji Egbinola, 43, is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and Nigeria, and had to be extradited from London to face charges in the United States.
Egbinola impersonated a construction company — Kjellstrom Lee — that frequently provided services to the university, requesting that they change their method of paying outstanding bills. He provided them an account number that funneled the cash to Los Angeles, where it was quickly laundered through a number of local clothing retailers.
“Very little of that money was recovered,” the Department of Justice wrote following Egbinola’s guilty plea.
Egbinola could face up to 20 years in prison for the charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, though his sentence is likely to be much shorter. When his sentence is complete, however, a judicial order will ensure that he’s promptly deported to London.
However, the L.A. businessman who ran the account the money was funneled through is still facing pending charges of money laundering.
Hakhyun Chun is the proprietor of EDHD Inc, and told prosecutors that he allowed the ill-gotten money to be deposited in his account because “two white men,” for whom he claimed to have no names or contact information, offered it to him as an “investment” to pay off his and his son’s extensive debts.
You can read more about Chun’s role in the conspiracy in 8News’ previous coverage.