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Saturday, 27th February, 2021
 
 
 
 Nigeria   ::   News
 
US jails Obinwanne Okeke over fraud
Feb 17, 2021
By: Abara Bleesing Oluchi

A Nigerian scammer Obinwanne Okeke on Tuesday was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a United States court in Norfolk, Virginia for computer-based fraud scheme that caused approximately $11 million in known losses to his victims.

According to the Department of Justice, Eastern District of Virginia, the sentencing was pronounced by Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.

“Through subterfuge and impersonation, Obinwanne Okeke engaged in a multi-year global business email and computer hacking scheme that caused a staggering $11 million in losses to his victims,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the district.

“Today’s sentence further demonstrates EDVA’s and FBI’s worldwide reach in vigorously pursuing justice on behalf of American victims and others and holding international cybercriminals accountable, no matter where they commit their crimes.”

The court documents stated that Obinwanne Okeke, 33, operated a group of companies known as the Invictus Group based in Nigeria and elsewhere.

From approximately 2015 to 2019, Okeke and others engaged in a conspiracy to conduct various computer-based frauds.

The conspirators obtained and compiled the credentials of hundreds of victims, including victims in the Eastern District of Virginia.

As part of the scheme, Okeke and other conspirators engaged in an email compromise scheme targeting Unatrac Holding Limited, the export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment.

In April 2018, a Unatrac executive fell prey to a phishing email that allowed conspirators to capture login credentials.

The conspirators sent fraudulent wire transfer requests and attached fake invoices. Okeke participated in the effort to victimize Unatrac through fraudulent wire transfers totaling nearly $11 million, which was transferred overseas.

Additionally, Okeke engaged in other forms of cyberfraud, including sending phishing emails to capture email credentials, creating fraudulent web pages, and causing other losses to numerous victims.

“The FBI will not allow cyber criminals free reign in the digital world to prey on U.S. companies,” said Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office. “This sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to working with our partners at the Department of Justice and our foreign counterparts to locate cyber criminals across the globe and bring them to the United States to be held accountable.”

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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