A Nigerian, Sunday Ganyo, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and transportation of stolen property in a federal court on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney, Clint Johnson, announced.
Ganyo, 37, pleaded guilty to four separate counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, and transportation of stolen property.
In July, Ganyo was extradited from South Africa pursuant to a 2020 federal criminal complaint alleging his involvement in a cyber fraud scheme targeting a Tulsa company that almost succeeded in stealing nearly half a million dollars’ worth of computers and shipping them to South Africa. Investigators were able to intercept the shipment in route and track it to a warehouse in South Africa controlled by Ganyo, leading to his arrest by the South African Police Service. It was later determined that Ganyo had engaged in a wide range of similar schemes targeting at least four companies in California, Illinois, and New York with a total loss amount of nearly 3 million dollars.
According to Ganyo’s plea agreement, from January of 2017 through January of 2021, he conspired to commit wire fraud in the Northern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere. He specifically created email addresses that appeared to be employees of well-known businesses. He would use those false email address to impersonate employees and place large orders of computer equipment. Ganyo would then use the fictious email accounts to redirect the orders and send other conspirators to pick up the various equipment and ship the stolen goods to South Africa.
Sunday Ganyo will remain in custody pending a later sentencing date that is yet to be scheduled. He faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence and restitution after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs worked with law enforcement partners of the South African Police Service to secure the arrest and extradition of Ganyo. The FBI is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Nassar and Thomas Buscemi are prosecuting the case.