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Financial scammers stole more than $600,000 from Henderson Independent School District in Texas.
According to HISD’s financial records, the district initiated a $609,615.24 direct electronic bank payment (known as an Automated Clearing House or ACH) to RPR Construction Company Inc. However, the district’s business department staff discovered the funds were mistakenly transferred to a fraudulent account instead of RPR’s bank account. Administrators soon realized HISD was the target of a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scheme. HISD Superintendent Keith Boles said the district immediately began an internal review and contacted the Henderson Police Department. The investigation was handed over to the United States Secret Service, which investigates crimes involving financial payment systems. While the Secret Service cannot comment on ongoing investigations, Special Agent Bill Mack said BEC schemes are very sophisticated and generally involve a global network of organized crime. The FBI estimates nearly $13 billion has been stolen from businesses and governmental entities. While many of the payments have been partially recovered, the process can take months or years. Boles said the district remains financially strong and is already working to prevent future fraud schemes.