Nigerian man arrested 3 years after $850,000 stolen from Boulder Valley School District

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office says a Nigerian man has been arrested more than three years after $850,000 was stolen 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 funds were deposited. The DMV photo was used in comparison with the surveillance photo of the suspect opening the bank account, according to the arrest documents.

Mogaji opening account at TD Bank
Mogaji’s DMV photo

The arrest documents also state that Mogaji spent around $371,000 in a few months 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 contractor, Adolfson and Peterson Construction, asked for payments that already had 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.

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