It's quite common for scammers to use phishing techniques to hack top level emails from CEOs to University Dean's to Presidents of real estate companies. They hack the boss' email then email lower level employees saying I need some money for xyz and cannot make it to the bank due to abc, please buy X # of gift cards and email the codes. The lower level employees out of fear and ignorance usually send the gift cards. Unfortunately no US bank will refund the victim as the money is unrecoverable. I previously worked for the largest US bank. Very common scam. I'd consult legal advice op.