VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Los Angeles County resident Robert T. Gilleran (DOB 6/1/1946) pled guilty to felony grand theft as a result of a Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud prosecution. The conviction was the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s High-Tech Task Force.
Nationwide, BEC scams accounted for over $9 billion in losses in 2018. In a typical BEC, an employee of a company receives what appears to be an email from an employer or other authorized person, directing that employee to wire money to a bank account, ostensibly for a legitimate business transaction. The email is not actually from an authorized person, but is, instead, from a suspect masquerading as a professional involved in the transaction. The employee wires the money as directed and the money is then received into an unauthorized account under the control of the suspect.
Often, intermediaries (also known as “money mules”) allow their bank accounts to be used to launder stolen funds in exchange for a percentage of stolen money. Gilleran acted as an intermediary in a BEC scam. Gilleran wired money around the world from three bank accounts he established in Camarillo, California.
Gilleran faces up to three years in the Ventura County jail. Gilleran is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18, 2019, at 9:00 a.m., in courtroom 12 of the Ventura Superior Court, County of Ventura.
The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is the public prosecutor for the county’s 850,000 residents. The office employs approximately 280 employees including attorneys, investigators, victim advocates, and other professional support staff who strive to seek justice, ensure public safety, and protect the rights of crime victims.
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