The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced the arrest of many Nigerians in an ongoing investigation related to fraud cases.
The US Attorney, Nick Hanna, made this known at a press conference on Thursday in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Hanna said the fraud cases involved suspects colluding with federal and state agents to dupe unsuspecting victims of their money.
He said a total of 80 suspects “many of whom are from Nigeria” have been arrested and charged to court with 57 more being hunted globally.
Hanna alleged that two Nigerians, Iro and Igbokwe were “essentially brokers” of fraudulent bank accounts by fielding requests for bank account information and laundering the money obtained from victims.
He said: “FBI agents along with federal and state law enforcement authorities arrested a total of 14 defendants in the US, all named in a sweeping fraud and money laundering case.
“Those arrested today are among 80 defendants charged in a federal grand jury indictment that alleges that millions of dollars were taken from victims through a variety of scams and online frauds.
“The impersonation attacks have cost consumers and businesses more than $3bn since 2015. Prosecutors said Valentine Iro, 31, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, both Nigerian nationals and residents of California, are accused of running the operation.”
“This indictment sends a message that we will identify perpetrators – no matter where they reside – and we will cut off the flow of ill-gotten gains.”
“We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in US history. BEC scam is used to hack email accounts to convince businesses or individuals to make payments that are either completely bogus or that should have been otherwise paid to legitimate companies.
“Indictments showed very specific allegations against this suspects many of whom are based in Nigeria in terms of stealing money from victims. The indictment also focuses on those responsible for enabling these fraud schemes including operatives in Los Angeles.”
Hanna said some of the victims were targeted specifically because they were elderly or vulnerable.
He added that a total of 252 count charges ranging from “conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, aggravated identity theft” have been filed against the suspects.
Below are the Nigerians on the list:
|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|
|9||Collins Nnaemeka Ojima|
|11||Nnamdi Theojoseph Duru|
|12||Ericson Uche Oforka|
|13||Mark Ifeanyi Chukwuocha|
|15||Chiemezie Christopher Chilaka|
|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|
|35||Chinwendu Kenneth Osuji|
|36||Eusebius Ugochukwu Onyeka|
|38||Anthony Nwabunwanne Okolo|
|39||Obinna Christian Onuwa|
|40||Chijioke Chukwuma Isamade|
|41||Linus Nnamdi Madufor|
|44||Fidel Leon Odimara|
|45||Kingsley Chinedu Onudorogu|
|48||James Chigozie Agube|
|49||Chimaobi Uzozie Okorie|
|51||Kennedy Chibueze Ugwu|
|52||Ifeanyichukwu Oluwadamilare Agwuegbo|
|53||Victor Ifeanyi Chukwu|
|54||Chidi Emmanuel Megwa|
|55||Princewill Arinze Duru|
|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|
|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|