The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office says a Nigerian man has been arrested more than three years after $850,000 was stolen in construction bond money from the Boulder Valley School District in an email scam.
According to the arrest affidavit, Sherifdeen Mogaji, 39, was arrested on February 21 and booked into the Boulder County Jail on suspicion of theft of $100,000 to $999,000, computer crime and forgery.
The arrest affidavit states that Mogaji used a New York driver’s license number to open a TD Bank account where the stolen funds were deposited. His DMV photo was compared to a surveillance footage photo from TD bank when the suspect opened the bank account, according to arrest records:
The arrest documents also state that Mogaji spent around $371,000 within a few months of the heist and wired money to himself in Nigeria. He also spent $31,000 on student loan payments, according to the documents.
The district first realized the scam when the legitimate contractor, Adolfson and Peterson Construction, asked for payments that they thought had already been made.
The district said a sophisticated email that included a forged signature was sent to its office asking for a form to change routing information. The district then filled out the form and made four payments to a fraudulent account, which totaled $852,733.83, according to the arrest affidavit.
Authorities were able to recover about $500,000 by freezing the fraudulent account. The district said insurance covered another $200,000, leaving the district with $172,000 stolen.