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$11 Million Fraud: Obinwanne Okeke Faces 30 Years In Jail – FBI


Obinwanne Okeke, the Nigerian young ‘businessman’ who was recently
arrested in the United States for $11 million fraud, could spend up to
30 years in jail if convicted.

Mr Okeke was charged with two
counts of computer fraud and wire fraud, which carry a maximum 10 and 20
years respectively, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

Mr Okeke, widely
known as Invictus Obi, is being remanded at 401 Courthouse Square,
Alexandria, VA 22314, which serves as the district headquarters of the
U.S. Marshall Service.

His remand order was issued at a preliminary hearing shortly after his arrest.

Mr Okeke was arrested on August 6 in Alexandria, Virginia, just moments before he was scheduled to return to Nigeria.

He
appeared before Michael Nachmanoff, a magistrate with the District
Court of Eastern District of Virginia, on August 7 to answer charges of
wire fraud.

The charges were investigated by the F.B.I. and filed
against Mr Okeke by the U.S. Department of Justice, with both
authorities saying they were convinced that Mr Okeke duped a UK
subsidiary of Caterpillar up to $11 million in business email fraud,
amongst other charges.

Mr Okeke has since hired John Iweanoge, a Washington D.C. criminal attorney of Nigerian origin, as his lead defence counsel.

Indefinite remand

Mr
Okeke did not enter a plea at his initial arraignment, but he was
remanded in custody indefinitely in accordance with the U.S. federal
laws on the nature of the criminal complaints against him, according to
Joshua Stueve, a spokesperson for the United States Attorney’s Office
for the Eastern District of Virginia.

His remand would last until a jury has been selected to look into the charges against him, which may take several weeks.

“It
may take another two weeks before a new date is fixed for him to appear
in court again,” Mr Stueve told PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday.

The spokesperson, however, warned that Mr Okeke would likely get below the maximum sentence.

“Actual
sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum
penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence
after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other
statutory factors,” Mr Stueve said.

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Last Updated: August 29, 2019

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