Iro, Igbokwe top list of Nigerians accused in $1.1bn US internet fraud  

FEDERAL Prosecutors of the United States Department of Justice on Thursday said 80 persons in the US and Nigeria,were believed to have stolen about $1.1 billion through several various fraudulent schemes in seven months.

They were indicted in a 252-count charge by the prosecutors reported by nearly 14,000 petitioners.

“I’ll like to give you some numbers. In the first seven months of this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) internet crime complaint centres received nearly 14, 000 complaints from victims reported Business Email Compromise (BEC) incidents with a total loss of $1.1 billion,” says Paul Delacourt, the FBI Assistant Director in charge of the case.

Most of the defendants according to the prosecutors live outside the US. But in the report cited by The ICIR, the Nigerians among the suspects include  Valentine Iro (31) of Carson and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe (38), of Gardena, both based in the US.

A 145-page document filed to the US District Court for the Central District of California detailed scores of Nigerians indicted in the fraud.

Another document, Financial Recipient Loss by Month shared by the prosecutors in a 31:48 seconds footage, revealed that in 2019, almost $40 million was lost in January this year, followed by other unclear sums in April and May, then January, July, February and March respectively.

According to the FBI Los Angeles Technology Enabled Crime (TEC) Task Force, shared by the prosecutors, from the accused 23 local defendants, 15 are based in Loss Angeles. From the 15, only one has not been arrested.


Seven others were detailed among those residing outside Loss Angeles but only three have been apprehended.

    “That is the chart of the 23 domestic defendants. We have 80 defendants. Most of them are internationals. We will talk about that, but these are the 23 that we are looking for within the US. Six of them are fugitives, so if their faces are uncovered, it means we are looking for them. So if anyone has information we would like you to call us,” one of the prosecutors stated.

    Reports say the defendants allegedly laundered the money through a Los Angeles based money laundering network.

    “Eleven of them were arrested Thursday in Southern California, while three others were taken into custody elsewhere in the U.S., according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California,” the report stated.

    The ICIR earlier reported on 17th August, how the FBI arrested Obiwanne Okeke, popular Nigerian businessman for committing internet fraud.




    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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