For his involvement in a computer-based intrusion fraud scheme, a Nigerian national was sentenced today to ten years in prison. This computer-based intrusion fraud scheme caused around $11 million in known losses to its victims.
Unfolding this story, Raj Parekh, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said how 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 through subterfuge and impersonation. He also went on to say how this decision depicts EDVA’s and FBI’s worldwide reach in vigorously pursuing justice on behalf of American victims and others holding international cybercriminals accountable. Regardless of whether they have committed their crime or not!
The court documents state how thirty-three-year-old Obinwanne Okeke ran a group of companies by the name Invictus Group headquartered in Nigeria, also operated in other places. This he did for four years starting from 2015. He and others worked with each other to conspire and conduct different computer-based frauds. All of them obtained and compiled the credentials of hundreds of victims that also include some names from the Eastern District of Virginia.
An email compromise scheme developed by Okeke and his partners targeted Unatrac Holding Limited which is the export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment. In the year 2018, one employee of this company fell prey to a phishing email allowing conspirators to capture his login credentials. Okeke and his team members sent fraudulent wire transfer requests, attaching invoices that did not exist for real. Participating in the effort to victimize Unatrac, Okeke sent fraudulent wire transfers and managed to earn around $11 million. Moreover, he was also involved in other types of cyber fraud which included sending phishing emails for capturing email credentials and creating fraudulent web pages as well as being a reason why numerous people suffered losses.
Brain Dugan, Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office announced how the FBI would not allow cybercriminals to allow free time in this digital world and prey on U.S. companies. He went on to say how this sentencing depicts the FBI’s commitment to working with partners at the Department of Justice and its foreign counterparts for locating cybercriminals all across the globe and bring them to the United States of America.
The announcement of Parekh and Dugan came after the sentencing done by Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith. The U.S. Attorney Brian Samuels prosecuted this case.