U.S. postpones sentencing of Nigerian businessman convicted of multi-million dollar fraud
Obinwanne Okeke faces up to 20 years in jail and $250,000 in fines and will now know his fate on February 16, 2021
who was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The 36-year-old and Chairman of Abuja-based Invictus Group, before his arrest in 2019,
was listed by Forbes as one of the influential young entrepreneurs in the world.
Also known as Invictus Obi, Mr Okeke was nabbed by the American Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
for conspiracy with some individuals, some of whom remain at large,
to defraud American companies and individuals over a period of at least four years.
A single scheme that targeted Unatrac, a subsidiary of American heavy equipment manufacturer, Caterpillar,
saw the syndicate walk away with up to $11 million in spurious wire transfers, court documents showed.
In June 2018, representatives of Unatrac Holding Limited, the export sales office for Caterpillar heavy
industrial and farm equipment headquartered in the United Kingdom, contacted the FBI.
They reported that Unatrac had been scammed through an email compromise, which ultimately resulted
in fraudulent wire transfers of nearly $11 million.
“The representatives explained that on or about April 1, 2018, Unatrac’s Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”)
received a phishing’ email containing a web link,
purportedly to the login page of the CFO’s online email account hosted by Microsoft Office365.
When the CFO opened the link, it instead led him to a phishing website crafted to imitate the legitimate Office365 login page.
“Believing the page to be real, he entered his login credentials, which were captured by an unknown intruder who controlled the spoofed web page,
” FBI documents read. Logs indicated that between April 6 and April 20, 2018, the intruder accessed the CFO’s
account at least 464 times, mostly from Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in Nigeria.
The IP addresses were traced to Mr Okeke and his co-conspirators.