Three sentenced in US for IT fraud

Three people in the US have been sentenced to prison terms for their involvement in IT fraud which saw $3.4 million stolen from four state governments that were destined for consultancy group Deloitte and three IT firms: Unisys, Accenture, and EDS, the latter of which is now owned by Hewlett-Packard.

The scam began at the end of 2008, when several Kenyan men laundered money from the US government that was to be paid to the IT companies for various services to several fraudulent bank accounts throughout the US. 

This was accomplished by filing documents to create company names similar to those of the legitimate firms and creating false bank accounts in the actual names of the genuine companies.

They acquired a vast amount of information online allowing them to impersonate the real IT firms and convince banks to set up direct deposit authorisation.

At least $770,000 of the laundered money was sent to Kenyan bank accounts. Police became suspicious after vast quantities of money started to leave West Viriginia, leading to an investigation which ended with the recent arrests and prosecutions.

The men involved were Robert Otiso, 36, who received a 72 month senstence, Paramena Shikanda, 35, who received a 46 month sentence, and Collins Masese, 21, who received a nine month sentence. Two others involved in the crime have yet to be sentenced; these are Michael Ochenge, 33, and Albert Gunga, 30. They will be sentenced next Thursday.

“Today represents a victory for taxpayers,” said US Attorney R. Booth Goodwin II of the Southern District of West Virginia. “When the state itself is defrauded, we all suffer. Money taken from the public treasury is money not available for schools, roads, and police and fire departments.”

Tell that to Oracle, which is being sued by the US government for fraud, overcharging it by millions of taxpayers money. In a time when Obama is considering cutting IT funding it’s vital that these cases be tackled quickly to restore some much-needed funds back into the treasury.