Cobb County man accused in $2 million fraud scheme

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A Cobb County man is facing federal charges related to an alleged $2 million fraud email scheme.

Denis Onderi Makori, of Powder Springs, was indicted on April 20 on charges relating to a business email compromise scheme targeting a Pennsylvania university and allegedly defrauding it out of more than $2 million.

“Business email compromise schemes pose a severe risk of financial loss to public and private institutions alike,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “In this case, Makori allegedly helped orchestrate a scheme that caused a university to transfer unknowingly over $2 million to bank accounts he controlled.”

According to officials, the indictment, and other information presented in court, various people allegedly engaged in a fraudulent BEC scheme to cause a university located in Pennsylvania to send payments totaling more than $2 million via Automated Clearing House to a bank account controlled by Makori, rather than to the intended beneficiary of such payments, a medical supply company based in Alpharetta, Georgia.

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In the scheme, officials said a fraudulent email was allegedly sent to the university that purported to be from the medical supply company. That email allegedly contained ACH payment instructions that directed the university to transfer payments to an account that purportedly belonged to the medical supply company. The university then transferred more than $2 million to the bank account allegedly controlled by Makori. Then, Makori allegedly moved and laundered the funds between and among bank accounts associated with his logistics company, and then to bank accounts in Kenya, to himself, and to other persons associated with him.

“BEC schemes like this alleged one are a big reason why the Georgia Cyber Fraud Task Force, comprised of federal, state and local agencies, was launched in February,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “It takes a combination of education and our priority to investigate and prosecute these cases to make it a deterrent to those who contemplate committing these crimes.”

This case is being investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Christian is prosecuting the case.