Two arrested for stealing $143K via hacked emails

pull leftTwo men are in jail for their involvement in crimes that netted over $143,000 through fraudulent wire transfers, according to Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office.

Patrick Tayon Babila, 33, and Thadius Pugh, 34, were arrested on Tuesday following a joint investigation by the Caddo Sheriff’s Office, Shreveport Police Department, and the FBI. Babila was booked into the Caddo Correctional Center on three counts of illegal transmission of monetary funds, and Pugh was booked on two counts of the same charge.
Sheriff’s Det. Doug Smith and Police Det. Jeff Bordelon investigated the cases which involved complaints from two out-of-state victims that had business wire transfers fraudulently diverted to a Shreveport bank account after their emails were compromised.
The first complaint was from a man in Hermosa Beach, California, who was communication with a company by email as he was considering whether to invest in the company. The company’s email account was later hacked, and once the man decided to invest, he received instructions via the hacked account to wire his $50,000 investment to a Shreveport bank account in Pugh’s name.

Patrick Babila
Patrick Babila (Photo: CPSO)


In a separate instance, a Florida company received an email advising it to send future vendor payments to a new bank account, also in Pugh’s name. That company wired $814,000, but once it learned the vendor’s email had been hacked, it was able to recall the wire transfer and get all but $93,559 returned.
On Tuesday, the Caddo-Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force, Caddo Sheriff's Office Warrants Unit, and the FBI executed a search warrant at 350 Boulevard Street and took Pugh into custody. Babila was arrested on an outstanding SPD warrant at 7108 Creswell Avenue.


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