A Nigerian entrepreneur who was nominated for Africa’s most prestigious award for businessmen has been imprisoned in the United States for masterminding a multimillion-dollar cyber-fraud scheme.
Obinwanne Okeke headed a prison group that utilized email-based mostly cyber-attacks to steal credentials from hundreds of victims from somewhere around 2015 to 2019. The data they swiped was utilized to focus on providers with fraudulent wire-transfer requests and bogus invoices.
British company Unatrac Keeping Restricted, the export sales workplace for American Fortune 100 company Caterpillar, was among the Okeke’s victims.
A Unatrac govt unwittingly revealed their login credentials to Okeke’s felony organization just after slipping sufferer to a phishing email in April 2018.
“Okeke participated in the work to victimize Unatrac by way of fraudulent wire transfers totaling approximately $11m, which was transferred overseas,” explained the US Attorney’s Place of work for the Eastern District of Virginia in a statement introduced February 16.
In accordance to court docket documents, Okeke engaged in other types of cyber-fraud, which include making fraudulent web webpages and sending phishing emails to seize email credentials. His steps brought on money decline to numerous victims.
“Through subterfuge and impersonation, Obinwanne Okeke engaged in a multi-yr global organization email and personal computer hacking scheme that brought about a staggering $11 million in losses to his victims,” stated Raj Parekh, performing US Lawyer for the Japanese District of Virginia.
Thirty-a few-12 months-aged Okeke is the founder of Invictus Group, which operates in Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia and was picked by the African Manufacturer Congress to earn the Most Progressive Investment decision Company of the Year Award 2017.
Nominated for the AABLA Awards in the class of Young African Organization Chief (West Africa), Okeke is a standard contributor to the Forbes Africa magazine. He also previously appeared on the magazine’s “30 less than 30” list.
On June 18, 2020, Okeke pleaded guilty to a cost of conspiracy to dedicate wire fraud. He was sentenced to ten a long time in prison on February 16.
“This sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s determination to performing with our companions at the Office of Justice and our foreign counterparts to find cyber-criminals throughout the globe and carry them to the United States to be held accountable,” said Brian Dugan, exclusive agent in charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Area Office.
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