Invictus Obi, celebrated Nigerian young billionaire, pleads guilty to $11m fraud in US, risks 20-year jail

Invictus Obi
Obinwanne Okeke aka Invictus Obi

Nigeria’s celebrated young billionaire, Obinwanne Okeke, popularly known as Invictus Obi, has pleaded guilty to $11 million (estimated N4.2 billion) fraud in the US.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at Dulles International Airport, had arrested Okeke on his way out of the US over an alleged $11 million internet fraud in 2019.

Okeke after his arrest was charged to court and he appeared before Justice Robert J. Krask, the judge, who presided over his case.

During his first appearance before Justice Krask at the eastern district of Virginia court, Okeke, pleaded not guilty to charges brought before him that he was involved in computer-based fraud between 2015 and 2019.

Thereafter, Justice Krask, who admitted his claim, ordered his remand at the prison, but in a dramatic twist to his earlier held not guilty claim, in his latest court appearance, Okeke pleaded guilty to a two-count-charge of internet fraud in the US.

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Okeke, the Nigerian young billionaire, who was once listed by Forbes as one of the 100 Most Influential Young Africans, would be sentenced on October 22 and could spend a maximum of 20 years in an American jail.

“Okeke, 32, operated a group of companies known as the Invictus Group between 2015 and 2019, and was accused of fleecing unsuspecting victims of over $11 million.

“The conspirators obtained and compiled the credentials of hundreds of victims, including victims in the Eastern District of Virginia and elsewhere.

“As part of the scheme, Okeke and others engaged in an email compromise scheme targeting Unatrac Holding Limited, the export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment.

“In April 2018, a Unatrac executive fell prey to a phishing email that allowed conspirators to capture login credentials. The conspirators sent fraudulent wire transfer requests and attached fake invoices.

“Okeke participated in the effort to victimize Unatrac through fraudulent wire transfers totaling nearly $11 million, funds which were transferred overseas.

“Okeke pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit wire fraud,” the court documents read.