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Forbes to prison: US court sentences Invictus Obi to 10 years imprisonment

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OBINWANNE Okeke, also known as Invictus Obi, who was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at Dulles International Airport while absconding from the US over his involvement in 11 million-dollar internet fraud, has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

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 the sentence by Rebecca Beach Smith, chief U.S. district judge.

Before his prosecution, Invictus Obi had been listed in 2018 by Forbes as among the ‘100 Most Influential Young Africans.’

He was, alongside three others, nominated for the All African Business Leaders Award for Young Business Leader (West Africa).

However, he was later arrested and charged for his involvement in cybercrime through fraudulent wire transfers in a massive, coordinated, business e-mail compromise scheme amounting to 11 million dollars.

EFCC secures conviction of internet fraudster wanted by FBI

The Nigerian entrepreneur was also found to have participated in victimising Unatrac Holding Limited, the export sales office for caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment through fraudulent wire transfers.

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During the commencement of his trial, Obi had pleaded not guilty to the charges, but in 2019,  he pleaded guilty to a two-count charge of forgery and fraud when he appeared before a court in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Speaking on the judgment, Parekh said the sentence demonstrated the commitment of the US law agencies towards pursuing justice on behalf of its citizens.

“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,” Parekh said.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had also confiscated Obi’s assets and monies in Nigeria to the tune of 280.6 million naira, which was allegedly traced to the bank accounts of Invictus Oil and Gas Limited, and Invictus Investment Limited, which he owned.

Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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