Social Media Celebrity, Mompha Finally Jailed in US, Forfeits $700k
Nigerian social media millionaire, Mustapha Raji also known as MOMPHA, has been jailed for three years by a court in the United States of America.
According to a statement credited to Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, “MUSTAPHA RAJI was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman to three years in prison for his participation in a $1.7 million business email compromise and money laundering scheme that targeted a Manhattan hedge fund” Peoples Gazet online newspaper reports.
Mompha had been previously convicted after a jury trial that lasted only one week.
He was convicted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, receipt of stolen property, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams statement reads further: “Today’s sentencing of Mustapha Raji should send a clear message that email scams targeting businesses in this District will not be tolerated. Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to zealously prosecute online scammers abroad, and the U.S.-based money launderers they work with, to protect American businesses.”
Reports indicate that in April 2017, a company RAJI controlled received over $100,000 in two transfers from another corporate entity, which had itself just received about $2 million in stolen money from a public university in Oregon. The university had been conned into sending the payment to an account controlled by one of RAJI’s co-conspirators instead of the bank account of the legitimate vendor it intended to pay.
Another account also indicates that in July 2018, RAJI was involved in the compromise of the business email account of a hedge fund founder in New York. That compromise resulted in the fraudulent diversion of a $1.7 million wire transfer from the hedge fund to a corporate bank account used to facilitate the scheme. RAJI was a registered officer of the company that received th
In yet another scam traced to May 2018, a hospital system in Missouri fell victim to a business email compromise scheme. As part of that scheme, unauthorized emails were sent from the email account for the hospital’s chief financial officer that purported to direct payments to be issued for false invoices issued by RAJI’s company, causing over $250,000 to be sent directly by the victim to a bank account RAJI controlled.
According to court documents in addition to his prison term, RAJI, 53, of Hollywood, Florida, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $711,557.54 and forfeit the same amount.