International Fraud Ring Member Convicted in Scheme Targeting Hedge Fund

Mustapha Raji is found guilty of siphoning $1.7 million from a New York City hedge fund.

A Florida man has been found guilty for his part in a $1.7 million business email compromise and money-laundering scam that targeted a New York City hedge fund.


According to the indictment, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Mustapha Raji participated in an international fraud ring that engaged in phishing and other email fraud campaigns. One of the campaigns was the compromise of the business email account of an unnamed hedge fund founder in New York.


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Raji “participated in a scheme to fraudulently induce a corporate victim to conduct an interstate wire transfer in the amount of approximately $1.7 million, to a bank account controlled by a co-conspirator,” says the indictment.


Prosecutors charged that Raji was a registered officer of the company that received the stolen funds, and that he fabricated documents to cover up the transfer. They also said he directed a co-conspirator to launder the stolen funds to other co-conspirators in the U.S. and abroad, and that he took a $50,000 cut for his role in the scheme.


“Email scams that target businesses in this District will not be tolerated,” Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. “Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to zealously prosecute online scammers abroad, and the US-based money launderers they work with.”


Raji, 52, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He was also convicted of one count of receipt of stolen money, which carries a 10-year maximum prison sentence. Raji is scheduled to be sentenced on January 11.


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