A Bergen County property owner got fooled into wiring $560,000 to a con man from California who also collected nearly $195,000 in small business loans by fraud, authorities said.
Eric Bullard, 59, of Los Angeles hacked an email account at a law firm representing the victim, then wrote to the client with instructions to wire the money into an escrow account identified as “Eric’s Commercial LLC,” Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.
The account at the time held all of $40, Honig said.
The day the transfer was posted, Bullard was seen on surveillance footage withdrawing $96,275 in 10 separate transactions, the U.S. attorney said.
That same day, Bullard transferred three large sums of money from the “Eric’s Commercial” account to others – including an account controlled by an unnamed conspirator, she said.
That’s wasn’t all.
Bullard also obtained and laundered funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, Honig said.
The money was supposed to be for two purported pharmacy companies, one with a location in Idaho and the other in Colorado, she said, adding that it went into accounts controlled by Bullard instead.
Honig credited special agents of the FBI with the investigation leading to the money laundering conspiracy charges filed against Bullard.
U.S. Attorney Jamie L. Hoxie of Honig’s Cybercrime Unit in Newark is handling the case, she said.
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