Man charged as part of ongoing investigations into business email compromise scam

A man will face court charged over his alleged involvement in a business email scam targeting an Australian government agency.

On Tuesday (27 July 2021), police attached to Sydney City Police Area Command were notified after funds totalling $942,700 were allegedly fraudulently obtained from a government agency via an online business email compromise (BEC) scam.

The matter was referred to detectives from the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad, who took carriage of the investigation.

Their inquiries into the cyber-enabled fraudulent activity revealed that an invoice had been submitted for payment along with a request to change bank details, before the funds were transferred into a personal account.

Just after 3pm yesterday (Wednesday 28 July 2021), officers attached to Eastern Beaches Police Area Command were called to a shopping centre at Bunnerong Road at Eastgardens, following reports of alleged fraudulent activity at a bank.

A 51-year-old man was arrested and taken to Maroubra Police Station, where he was charged with recklessly deal with proceeds of crime

Police will allege in court that the man dealt with proceeds of crime valued at more than $900,000.

The Pagewood man was granted strict conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday 25 August 2021.

Inquiries are continuing with further charges expected to be laid.

Cybercrime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft, said cybercriminals are continuing to scam Australian businesses out of their hard-earned cash.

“We must congratulate the agency involved for reporting this matter to police so quickly, it is a great example of the relationship between police and the financial institutions when investigating matters of this nature,” Det Supt Craft said.

“Engaging early with law enforcement is key to successfully investigating business email compromises.

“This arrest serves as a timely reminder, that if you financially benefit through illicit means – including through online activities – you will get caught.

“In addition, those who receive funds from an unknown source into their bank account are warned that they may commit criminal offences if it’s not reported to police,” Det Supt Craft said.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said yesterday’s arrest is testament to the professional working relationship between the NSW Police Force and the private sector.

“The NSW Police Force has a world-class Cybercrime Squad which is at the forefront of our efforts combatting these crimes,” Mr Elliott said.

“Fraud not a victimless crime – each time a person or group is scammed there is a cost to the community.

“This arrest is proof that when businesses and the community work hand-in-hand with these highly-skilled detectives, the outcomes are a positive for everyone in NSW,” Mr Elliott said.

A business email compromise (BEC) occurs when an individual or a company receives a fake invoice purporting to be from a service or goods provider, expecting payment to the fraudster’s account or another account which will then transfer the funds to the fraudster’s account.

Anyone with information about cyber-enabled offences is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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