One of Nigeria’s most celebrated young entrepreneur, Obinwanne Okeke, popularly called Invictus Obi has pleaded guilty to wire fraud amounting to $11m (N4.2bn) in the United States.
He made the plea on Thursday at the Norfolk Magistrate Court Room 2 of the United States District Court for Eastern District of Virginia.
He had earlier pleaded not guilty. Okeke, arrested in the United States August 2019, in a court ruling on Thursday pleaded guilty of the $11 million (N4.2 billion) computer-based fraud between 2015 and 2019.
Robert J. Krask, the judge, accepted his plea.
“Okeke, 32, operated a group of companies known as the Invictus Group between 2015 and 2019, and was accused of fleecing unsuspecting victims of over $11 million,” the court documents read
“The conspirators obtained and compiled the credentials of hundreds of victims, including victims in the Eastern District of Virginia and elsewhere.
“As part of the scheme, Okeke and others 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, funds which were transferred overseas.
“Okeke pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit wire fraud.”
The accused will be sentenced on October 22 and could spend 20 years maximum in an American jail.
The Nigerian was once listed by Forbes as one of the 100 Most Influential Young Africans.
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