A U.S. court has sentenced Obinwanne Okeke also known as Invictus Obi to 10 years in prison.
Okeke was sentenced for his involvement in a computer-based intrusion fraud scheme that caused approximately $11 million in known losses to his victims.
According to court documents, the 33-year-old operated a group of companies known as the Invictus Group based in Nigeria and elsewhere.
The Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Raj Parekh while sentencing him on Tuesday said, “Through subterfuge and impersonation, 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.”
Parekh added that “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.”
From approximately 2015 to 2019, Okeke and others engaged in a conspiracy to conduct various computer-based frauds. The conspirators obtained and compiled the credentials of hundreds of victims, including victims in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Other details provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, revealed that Okeke and other conspirators engaged in an email compromise scheme targeting a company – 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, which was transferred overseas.
“Additionally, Okeke engaged in other forms of cyber fraud, including sending phishing emails to capture email credentials, creating fraudulent web pages, and causing other losses to numerous victims,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia revealed.
Okeke was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at Dulles International Airport while leaving the US for Nigeria.
However, after months of denying his involvement in the crime before a federal judge in the U.S. and argument of jurisdiction, he pleaded guilty to the allegation of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and agreed to cooperate with American authorities last year June.
“The FBI will not allow cybercriminals free reign in the digital world to prey on U.S. companies,” said Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office.
“This sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to working with our partners at the Department of Justice and our foreign counterparts to locate cybercriminals across the globe and bring them to the United States to be held accountable.”
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 sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.
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