The FBI arrest of 80 people including Nigerians based in Los Angeles by the FBI for involvement in romance scams and wire fraud. This comes after the arrest of Obinwanne ‘Invictus’ Okeke and Nigerians believe he snitched on this brothers.
Sometime between the 2nd and 6th of August, 2019, the U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested the CEO of Nigerian firm Invictus Group, Obinwanne Okeke, for conspiracy to commit computer fraud and wire fraud. This was after a 13-month investigation.
The US Federal Trade Commission has released a report on scams that prey on vulnerable people cost Americans more money than any other fraud reported to the agency last year.
Barely a week after CEO of Invictus Group, Obinwanne Okeke was arrested by America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over a $12 million (N4.3bn) fraud, the agency has arrested 80 more Nigerians.
According to the new report, more than 21,000 people were scammed into sending $143 million in such schemes in 2018 alone.
“Reports indicate the scammers are active on dating apps, but also on social media sites that aren’t generally used for dating. For example, many people say the scam started with a Facebook message,” the FTC says.
As online dating becomes more popular and romance scams increase, the FTC warns people to become suspicious of any online relationship if:
- The person wants to leave the dating site immediately and use personal email or messaging
- The person is fast to claim love
- They say they’re traveling or working internationally
- He or she says they want to visit but don’t have the money because, for example, a business deal went sour
- They ask for money without meeting face-to-face
An update served on the arrest, revealed that 77 of the arrested suspects are Nigerians. They were accused of conspiring with federal and state agents to perpetrate the crime. Asides being involved in schemes that resulted in the transfer of at least $6 million which was obtained fraudulently, the suspects were also allegedly involved in the attempted theft of at least an additional $40 million.
US attorney, Nick Hanna said the suspects handed a total of 252 count charges bordering on “conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, aggravated identity theft”, had nicknames such as “Thank You Jesus”, “Son of God”, American Man”, God is God”, “He is Risen”.
Here is the full list below;
S/N SUSPECTS 1 Valentine Iro 2 Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe 3 Jerry Elo Ikogho 4 Izuchukwu Kingsley Umejesi 5 Adegoke Moses Ogungbe 6 Chukwudi Collins Ajaeze (better known as Thank You Jesus) 7 Ekene Augustine Ekechukwu 8 Chuks Eroha 9 Collins Nnaemeka Ojima 10 Uchenna Ochiagha 11 Nnamdi Theojoseph Duru 12 Ericson Uche Oforka 13 Mark Ifeanyi Chukwuocha 14 Augustine Nnamdi 15 Chiemezie Christopher Chilaka 16 Charles Ohajimkpo 17 Stanley Ugochukwu Uche 18 Chika Augustine Odionyenma 19 Paschal Chima Ogbonna 20 Samuel Nnamdi Onwuasoanya 21 Macwilliam Chinonso Chukwuocha 22 Emmanuel Onyeka Uzoka 23 Joshua Aniefiok Awak 24 George Ugochukwu Egwumba 25 Uchechukwu Solomon Ezirim 26 Augustine Ifeanyi Okafor 27 Okay Sam Mal 28 Leslie N. Mba 29 Ogohukwu Innocent Ikewesi 30 Emmanuel Uzoma Ogandu (better known as Son of God’ 31 Amarachukwu Harley Anywanu 32 Bright Ifeanyi Azubuike 33 Emeka Moses Nwachukwu 34 Donatus Izunwanne 35 Chinwendu Kenneth Osuji 36 Eusebius Ugochukwu Onyeka 37 Chidi Anunobi 38 Anthony Nwabunwanne Okolo 39 Obinna Christian Onuwa 40 Chijioke Chukwuma Isamade 41 Linus Nnamdi Madufor 42 Chrysaugonus Nnebedum 43 Ugochukwu Okereke 44 Fidel Leon Odimara 45 Kingsley Chinedu Onudorogu 46 Dessi Nzenwah 47 Chimaroke Obasi 48 James Chigozie Agube 49 Chimaobi Uzozie Okorie 50 Ogochukwu Ohiri 51 Kennedy Chibueze Ugwu 52 Ifeanyichukwu Oluwadamilare Agwuegbo 53 Victor Ifeanyi Chukwu 54 Chidi Emmanuel Megwa 55 Princewill Arinze Duru 56 Desmond Iwu 57 Onyeka Vincent Chika 58 Ifeanyi Kingsley Mezienwa 59 Victor Uchenna Aguh 60 Kevin Amarachi Eshimnu 61 Vitalis Kelechi Anozie 62 Williams Obiora Agunwa 63 George Chimezie Dike 64 Munachiso Kyrian Ukachukwu 65 Nwannebuike Osmund 66 Chidiebere Franklin Nwangwu 67 Damian Uchechukwu Ajah 68 Emeka P. Ejiofor 69 Lawrence Chukwuma Ubasineke 70 Chinedu Bright Ibeto 71 Valentine Amarachi Nwanegwo 72 Emmanuel Chidiebere Dike 73 Jeremiah Utieyin Eki 74 Chinaka Davidson Iwuoha 75 Chima Darlington Duru 76 Ikenna Christian Ihejiureme 77 Obi Onyedika Madekwe
Obinwanne ‘Invictus’ Okeke has since then appointed John Iweanoje, as his lawyer.