Wednesday, 23 September 2020 08:53

Nigerian Fraud Suspect, Wanted By FBI For $6 Million Scam Surrenders To EFCC

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Felix Osilama Okpoh, a Nigerian who is wanted by the United States. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) handed itself in to Nigeria's anti-graft body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), for its suspected role in a Corporate Email Compromise (BEC) scheme that defrauded over 70 independent firms in the United States.

Mr Okpoh, 31, who allegedly conspired with five others to defraud more than $6 million of their American victims, was taken by his father, retired Colonel Garuba Okpoh, and his girlfriend, Justina Okpoh, to the Lagos office of the EFCC.

Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman for the EFCC, said the perpetrator confessed on September 18 and that inquiries into his case had since begun.

Mr. Uwujaren cited Mr. Okpoh as saying during the investigation that, out of respect for his parents and his determination to be morally upright, he agreed to surrender himself to the Tribunal.

The FBI accused the perpetrator of falsely supplying hundreds of bank accounts that were used to collect illegal wire transfers to Richard Izuchukwu Uzuh and other co-conspirators, Alex Afolabi Ogunshakin, Abiola Ayorinde Kayode, and Nnamdi Orson Benson.

Bank accounts that Mr Okpoh allegedly provided to Mr Uzuh allegedly received fraudulent wire transfers from victim businesses totalling over $1million

On August 21, 2019, Mr Okpoh was indicted in the United States District Court, District of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska, on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. On August 22, 2019, a federal warrant was issued for his arrest.

On June 16, 2020, United States Attorney Joe Kelly and Kristi K. Johnson, Special Agent in Charge of the Omaha field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the unsealing of indictments charging the six Nigerians for their involvement in the fraud schemes.
“The schemes included individual victims and victim businesses both in Nebraska and other states,” the U.S.

Department of Justice said in a statement announcing the indictment. “BECs are sophisticated cybercrimes involving electronic transfer payments or automated clearinghouse transfers.”

“The indictments charge the defendants with one or more of the following violations of federal law: 1) Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000; 2) Identity theft and access device fraud, each punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

“The Nigerian nationals charged and still at large are Richard Uzuh; Micheal Olorunyomi; Alex Ogunshakin; Felix Okpoh; Abiola Kayode and Nnamdi Benson. An indictment is a formal accusation returned by a grand jury upon establishing probable cause. The indictment is not evidence of guilt and defendants are entitled to a presumption of innocence. Two related defendants have entered pleas of guilty. Adewale Aniyeloye was sentenced in the District of Nebraska to 96 months’ imprisonment for wire fraud. Onome Ijomone received a 60-month sentence for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.”

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