Nigerian celebrated entrepreneur, Obinwanne Okeke fondly called Invictus Obi, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to the $11 million (N4.2 billion) fraud charged against him in the United States.
Mr. Okeke was sentenced on Tuesday by a court in Norfolk, Virginia, for his involvement in a computer-based intrusion fraud scheme that caused approximately $11 million in known losses to his victims.
The sentencing was pronounced by Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, said the Department of Justice, Eastern District of Virginia.
“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.”
According to court documents, Obinwanne Okeke, 33, operated a group of companies known as the Invictus Group based in Nigeria and elsewhere.
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.
“This sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to working with our partners at the Department of Justice and our foreign counterparts to locate cyber criminals 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 sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.
Invictus Obi could spend 20 years in jail with up to $250,000 in fines amongst other punishments, but a group of sympathisers appealed to the Virginia court to temper justice with mercy.
The sympathisers which include family members, an employee, a pastor, and others related to Invictus Obi, expressed shock about his involvement in the unlawful activities and pleaded he be given a second chance.