Cypress couple accused of stealing nearly $40,000 from Tampa Bay Rays owner

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HOUSTON - Did a couple from Cypress think they could pull off the ultimate internet heist?  Harris County authorities have cried 'foul' and accused the pair of stealing over $38,000 from one of the owners of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team.

A judged charged both Madoussou Odebode and her husband, Oluwatomiwa Odebode, with third-degree felony theft.

The Odebodes are accused of redirecting bank wiring instructions from Randy Frankel,  a St. Petersburg, Florida man who is part-owner of the Rays.

Authorities say the Texas couple used an email fraud technique known as 'whaling' to intercept account instructions and divert funds to Madoussou Odebode's personal bank account in Cypress.

The complex scheme sounds like something out of a James Bond film.....with funds being manipulated not just across state lines but with international ties, too.

Investigators say the original IP address of the email account intercepting the funds belongs to a computer in Nigeria.

The couple's bonds are set at $2,500 each and their next court appearance will be in December.



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