BREAKING: UK Government Extradites Top Nigerian Fraudster To United States
Information reaching Ibom Focus says that UK Government Extradites Top Nigerian Fraudster To United States
A Nigerian man, Chibundu Joseph Anuebunwa, has been extradited to the United States by the government of the United Kingdom over alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar business email compromise campaign that targeted thousands of victims around the world.
Anuebunwa, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, will face criminal charges before Magistrate Katharine Parker, on Friday.
He was to be tried alongside two other Nigerians, David Adindu who had already been sentenced to 41 months in jail and co-defendant, Onyekachi Opara, who was previously extradited from South Africa and sentenced to 60 months in prison.
US Attorney Damian Williams said, “As alleged in the indictment, Chibundu Joseph Anuebunwa tried to steal money from thousands of businesses around the world by impersonating corporate executives and sending phoney emails to company employees.
“Today’s extradition should serve as a warning to those who think they can defraud victims in the United States from halfway around the world: the United States and its international partners will find you and hold you accountable no matter how long it takes.”
In the indictment unsealed before the Manhattan federal court, on Friday, the government accused the three Nigerians participated in business email compromise scams (“BEC scams”) targeting thousands of victims around the world.
They were said to have sent emails purportedly from supervisors, or third-party vendors, to employees of companies directing that funds should be transferred to specified bank accounts.
They were usually from email accounts with a domain name that was very similar to a legitimate domain name, or the metadata in the emails had been modified so that the emails appeared as if they were from legitimate email addresses.
After victims complied with the fraudulent instructions, the transferred funds were quickly withdrawn or moved into different bank accounts. In total, the BEC scams attempted to defraud millions of dollars from victims.
It added: “Anuebunwa and others carried out BEC scams by exchanging information regarding (1) bank accounts used for receiving funds from victims; (2) email accounts used for communicating with victims; (3) scripts for requesting wire transfers from victims; and (4) lists of names and email addresses for contacting and impersonating potential victims,” the indictment states.
Anuebunwa, if found guilty, risks up to 40 years in jail.
“The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.”
Meanwhile, Williams praised the investigative work of the FBI and thanked the Yahoo E-Crime Investigations Team for their assistance.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs of the Department’s Criminal Division provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from the United Kingdom. Williams also thanked the United Kingdom’s Crown Prosecution Service for their assistance in the extradition process.