An East Orange man was charged today with conspiring to transact in criminal proceeds involving $2.36 million in funds obtained through a business email scheme, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
According to Federal officials, Mr. Samora Patterson, 40, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiring to transact in criminal proceeds. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.
According to the complaint:
In March 2015, three related real estate companies entered into a multi-million dollar transaction to sell certain commercial real estate properties. “Title Company A” was the closing agent for the transaction.
Officials say on May 7, 2015, immediately before the transaction was scheduled to close, hackers impersonating the president of the three real estate companies sent a fraudulent email to Title Company A with wire instructions for the net closing proceeds.
The fraudulent wire instructions directed Title Company A to wire $2.36 million to an account controlled by Patterson.
Over the next several days, Patterson withdrew the $2.36 million from his account through cashier’s checks and cash accoding to officials.
The count with which Patterson is charged carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
U .S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie, with the investigation leading to today’s charge.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean M. Sherman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Protection Unit in Newark.