Hacker gets nearly 3 years for stealing school employees info

September 13, 2018 GMT

NEW HAVEN- A computer hacker used personal information he stole from school employees which he used to file 122 tax returns seeking refunds totaling $596,897/

Daniel Adekunle Ojo, 34, a Nigerian national residing in North Carolina was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison Thursday morning by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer. Additionally the judge ordered him to repay $36,926 to the IRS.

Ojo pleaded guilty on June 21 to separate charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He has been in custody since Aug. 3 when he was arrested in Durham, N.C., according to U.S. Attorney John “Bull” Durham.

Durham said Ojo entered the U.S. using a visitor’s visa on May 23, 2016 and never left. The visa expired on June 8, 2016.

Investigators became aware of the scheme in February, 2017, when a Glastonbury school employee received an email requesting W-2 tax information for all of the system’s employees. The request appeared to be made by another school employee.

The recipient complied and sent the personal W-2 information for all 1,600 employees.

A short time later 122 federal 1040 tax returns in the names of some of the employees were filed electronically with the IRS. Together the returns sought $596,897 in refunds. However only six were processed resulted in $36,926 in fraudulent obtained refunds which were electronically deposited in bank accounts created for the scheme.

A federal investigation was begun and found that a gmail account used by Ojo contained six W-2 forms created for Glastonbury school employees as well as their personal information.

Members of the FBI’s cybercrime unit in New Haven uncovered additional information on a similar scheme that victimized employees of Groton’s public schools and those working for the Bloomington Independent School District in Minnesota.

Assisting the FBI in the probe were agents from the IRS Criminal Investigation unit and Durham, N.C. police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarala V. Nagala prosecuted the case..