Reedy Creek Improvement District Swindled Out of $94,000 by Hacker


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UPDATE: Last month, two men were arrested in Louisiana in connection with the case. Patrick Babila and Thadius Pugh were charged with wire fraud after diverting the money into their bank account, according to a detective from the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The pair were also charged with stealing $50,000 from a California man.


According to the Orlando Sentinel, an employee of the Reedy Creek Improvement District was conned by an email phishing scheme that resulted in a loss of $94,000. The Reedy Creek Improvement District acts as the governing body for the land that the Walt Disney World Resort property sits on.

In February, thieves posed via email as a co-worker of a finance employee at the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Using the co-worker’s email, they then misled the finance employee into changing the regular bank account used for a legitimate landscaping company to a separate Capital One Bank account, which resulted in sending two payments to the thieves. Fortunately, by the time the Capitol One account had been frozen it still contained $722,000, which was recovered, leaving Reedy Creek with a total loss of $93,658.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District employee realized they had been misled when a SunTrust representative called asking to verify that the payments would be going through. SunTrust had been contacted by Capitol One when it caught their attention that the names on Reedy Creek’s payments and the payed account did not match. Soon after, the landscaping company BrightView was contacted directly and confirmed that they had never changed bank accounts.



While the incident happened in February, this is still an ongoing investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Credit: Orlando Sentinel
Image: Reedy Creek Improvement District


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