Nigerian businessman and owner of Invictus Group, Obinwanne Okeke, who was arrested in 2019 in the United States for $11 million (N4.2 billion) fraud, has pleaded guilty.
Okeke was arrested in August 2019 as he was about leaving the United States for Nigeria and held in jail for several months. He initially pleaded not guilty and was remanded by different district court judges.
Okeke and 80 other conspirators were accused of targeting American businesses. The court also said the gang were also involved in fraudulent business email scam for several years.
According to the Department of Justice, Eastern District of Virginia, Okeke after pleading guilty to a conspiracy to commit wire fraud, will face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on October 22.
BRIEF STORY OF HIS ARREST
The Forbes-rated young Nigerian billionaire and CEO of Invictus Group were arrested in July 2019, on the last day of his trip to the United States for allegedly defrauding top American companies of vast sums. Notably, he allegedly scammed $12m from a steel company by hacking into an executive’s office365 account and sending an email with a fake invoice to the purchasing department. His arrest came after Special Agent Marshall Ward of the FBI and the team he heads opened up an investigation in July 2018, following a petition by Unatrac Holding Limited.
BRIEF HISTORY OF HIS HUMBLE BEGINNING
Before this arrest, Obinwanne Okeke was celebrated in the business world as a man who came from grass to grace, according to his Forbes story. It was gathered that he was the 17th child of a polygamous father who died when Obinwanne was 16, and he was reportedly passed from one family relative to another. He ended up moving to Australia, where he did all kinds of jobs to survive. Obinwanne became a viral sensation after his feature on ‘Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30’ list in 2016.
He again made the list of Forbes 100 Most Influential Young African in 2018 after he founded the Invictus Group of Companies, an investment conglomerate dealing in construction, agriculture, oil and gas renewable energy, telecoms and real estate. The Compay at the time Operated in three African countries, which includes, Nigeria, Zambia and South Africa. His company was also named Africa’s Most Innovative Investment Company of the year by African Brand Congress in 2017.
Things were going well for the newlywed and father of one until his arrest in 2019.
BRIEF HISTORY OF HIS ARREST
On Friday, August 16, 2019, news broke that Obinwanne Okeke was being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States for fraud.
More report unveiled details of criminal actions which defrauded Unatrac Holdings of nearly 11 million US dollars. As indicated in the affidavit in support, deposed by Marshall Ward of the department of justice, the investigation commenced in 2019 and is ongoing up till now. It looks like October will eventually be the end and the begging of his 20 years in Prison.