US authorities jail Nigerian for fraud, orders deportation after jail-term
A United State court on Monday sentenced a Nigerian man Jude Uzochukwu Ifeanyi to over three years jail term for wired fraud.
Ifeanyi was sentenced in federal court in Omaha, Nebraska, the United States Attorney Jan Sharp said in a statement by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ).
“Senior United States District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon sentenced Ifeanyi to 41 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system,” Sharp said.
“After his release from prison, he will begin a one-year term of supervised release. Senior Judge Bataillon ordered Ifeanyi to pay restitution in the amount of $262,895 to several identified victims. Ifeanyi will be deported to Nigeria after serving his sentence.”
An investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation determined that from May 23, 2018 through May 25, 2018, Ifeanyi and his co-conspirators developed a scheme in an effort to defraud an Omaha couple out of $700,000.
Ifeanyi and his co-conspirators, who were located in Nigeria, compromised an email account used by the Omaha couple.
While conducting unauthorised surveillance within the Omaha couple’s email account, Ifeanyi and his co-conspirators identified a financial transaction that was to take place relating to the purchase of property in the State of Florida.
Ifeanyi and his co-conspirators sent fraudulent emails to the Omaha couple, which appeared to come from the sellers of the property.
“The emails directed the Omaha couple to use “alternate wiring instructions” when making payment for property, ultimately directing that payment for the property be made to an unauthorized third-party bank account,” the US attorney said.
“As a result of the scheme, the Omaha couple was fraudulently induced into making a $700,000 wire transfer to the unauthorized third-party bank account. When the fraudulent scheme was discovered, the victims were able to recover a portion of the wire transfer but did suffer a loss of $131,485. ”
During the course of the FBI’s investigation, the FBI determined that Ifeanyi and his co-conspirators were also involved in other similar schemes to defraud victims located throughout the United States. The FBI identified 9 other victims with losses totaling $1,581,655.
Prior to his conviction in the United States, Ifeanyi has a record of being indicted for fraudulent activities.
On August 21, 2019, an Indictment charging Ifeanyi was filed in the United States District Court in the District of Nebraska. On December 30, 2020, Ifeanyi was extradited from Spain, where Ifeanyi was living at the time, to the United States under the supervision of the FBI.
The US attorney said the FBI will continue to investigate Ifeanyi’s co-conspirators who were involved with the criminal activity.
“The sentencing today of Jude Uzochukwu Ifeanyi sends a strong message to criminals who carry out business email compromise schemes. The FBI takes this financially damaging threat seriously,” FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel said, “we will continue to find and arrest criminals who target members of our community, regardless of where they commit their crimes from.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.